Expert advice

Seasonal affective disorder: what it is, treatment options – and do light boxes work?

SAD’s multiple risk factors – including shift changes – may mean many nurses are at risk

Also known as winter depression, seasonal affective disorder is linked to reduced exposure to sunlight, and can affect nurses working frequently-changing shift patterns

What is seasonal affective disorder?

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern, according to the NHS .

While it’s known as winter depression, because the symptoms are usually more apparent and severe during the winter months, a few people with SAD have symptoms during the summer and feel better during the winter.

What causes SAD?

Though the exact cause is not fully understood, it’s often linked to reduced exposure to sunlight in the shorter autumn and winter days,

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