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Battling the Seasonal Blues: Do You Suffer from SAD?

From the Show: HER
Summary: Did you know that between 60 and 90 percent of people with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) are women?
Air Date: 11/20/14
Duration: 10
Host: Michelle King Robson and Pamela Peeke, MD
Guest Bio: Norman Rosenthal, MD
Norman Rosenthal Norman E. Rosenthal is a world-renowned psychiatrist, public speaker, and best-selling author who is known for his innovative research and inspirational writings.

He is currently Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine and is listed as one of the Best Doctors in America. Dr. Rosenthal has practiced psychiatry for over three decades, treating people with all manner of psychiatric and emotional health issues.

He is also a motivational speaker and a personal and professional coach, working with people from all walks of life including CEOs, top athletes, and performing artists.
Rosenthal was born and raised in South Africa and did his medical training at the University of Witwatersrand, where he graduated with high honors. He immigrated to the US and did his psychiatric residency at Columbia in NYC before going to the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, where he began his research career in earnest.

His first major research contribution was to describe and name Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and to develop light therapy as a treatment for this novel condition. SAD – and its milder variant, the Winter Blues – are now known to affect millions of people worldwide, many of whom have benefited from the light therapy that Dr. Rosenthal pioneered.

Dr. Rosenthal is a highly cited researcher who has written over 200 scholarly articles, and authored or co-authored eight popular books. These include Winter Blues, the New York Times bestseller Transcendence, and the Los Angeles Times bestseller The Gift of Adversity.

Rosenthal has conducted numerous clinical trials of medications and alternative treatments, such as Transcendental Meditation for psychiatric disorders, and the treatment of depression with Botox. He and his work have been featured on Good Morning America, The Today Show, NPR and other national media.
  • Book Title: Winter Blues, Everything You Need to Know to Beat Seasonal Affective Disorder
Battling the Seasonal Blues: Do You Suffer from SAD?
As the seasons start to change, you may notice some emotional, physical and mental changes within yourself.

The festive autumn trees went from a ray of beautiful colors to bare and dead stumps. You may find yourself wanting to sleep in, feeling anxious, or just like the trees outside your window... empty.

Could you be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?

SAD is a type of depression that happens at a specific time of the year. Even though you can also experience SAD during the summer, SAD usually occurs in the winter months. According to the Cleveland Clinic, approximately a half million individuals in the U.S. suffer from winter SAD, and 10 to 20 percent may suffer from a more mild form of the winter blues. Also, in those who suffer from SAD, between 60 to 90 percent are women.

What are the symptoms of SAD?

Since SAD is a branch of depression, the symptoms are similar: having trouble sleeping, feeling sluggish, low energy, appetite changes, weight gain or weight loss, mood changes and constantly feeling tired.

What causes SAD?

Even though doctors don't know the exact reason for SAD, there are a few reasons why you could be experiencing SAD. This includes your serotonin and melatonin levels, family genetics, and if your biological clock has been disrupted.

What are some of the treatment options?

Unfortunately, even though moving to a warmer climate seems like a great solution, not everyone is able to. However, you can utilize a therapeutic light box for light therapy or antidepressant drugs.

What else do you need to know about SAD?

Norman Rosenthal, MD, discusses the difference between SAD and the winter blues, what the symptoms of SAD are, and tips to help treat your own SAD symptoms.

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