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How Seasonal Affective Disorder can lead to long-term depression

Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a real disorder that has been proven to affect people due to the change of seasons from fall through winter. It is typically related to the effects of winter, including cold temperatures leading to less time outdoors for people, shorter days also meaning less sunlight and darker days. Such conditions could lead to depression, which could become more and more serious if not properly addressed.

Common symptoms of SAD or depression include feelings of sadness, irritability, increased desires to sleep more and eat more and a general lack of motivation to do anything productive. While SAD itself often goes away as the days get brighter and spring offers more welcoming weather, SAD could lead to a long-term illness.

If not properly addressed, Seasonal Affective Disorder may extend beyond winter and into the latter seasons. Depression is among the eligible conditions for Social Security Disability Benefits for Mental Conditions, if it can be proven that the condition is expected to last more than 12 months or end in death.

Unlike illnesses and injuries that are tangible and can be easily diagnosed and seen through various tests and scans, debilitating mental conditions are notoriously more difficult to prove. Not only is it more difficult to note one's emotions, the symptoms and affects are not always consistent. While one may appear to be in good spirits one day, that may change hours later. As such, if you or someone you know is suffering from a mental condition that is keeping you from work, you may want to speak with a law professional to see whether you can qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

Source: Fox 8, "Winter Wellness: Winter Blues - Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder," By Web Staff, Feb. 10, 2017

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Alan E. DeWoskin, P.C.
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