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Can Daylight Saving have an effect on mood disorders?

Doctors are concerned that the time change can affect mental health, especially for people with seasonal affective disorder or SAD.

HOUSTON — Seasonal affective disorder  – or SAD -- is a type of depression related to changes in seasons and some doctors are concerned that Daylight Saving may impact mood disorders like SAD.

Most commonly, people have seasonal depression during the fall and winter months.

Some experience it during the spring and summer months, but that is less common.

Dr. Andrea Taylor says that SAD can affect someone’s sleep, appetite, concentration and how they feel about themselves. And where you live on the planet seems to make a difference.

“The change in the daylight shift, we see a higher level of Seasonal affective disorder in areas further from the equator,” Dr. Taylor said.

*That gives some indication that exposure to direct sunlight may impact someone experiencing depression in a seasonal pattern,” she said.
“But there are ways you can treat SAD, such as light therapy and psychotherapy or through medication. Take advantage of natural sunlight. Try to do things early in the day, getting exposure to sunlight, especially within that first hour of waking up is important.” 

Exercise, spending time with others and even maintaining a healthy diet can help those experiencing SAD.

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