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Seasonal Affective Disorder

Matthew J. Filippo, DO and Greer Park, D.O. Reviewed 06/2022
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) describes mood episodes that occur as a part of major depressive or bipolar disorder in a seasonal pattern. Patients may experience depressive, hypo...

DIAGNOSIS

Under DSM-5, SAD is denoted by adding the “with seasonal pattern” specifier to a diagnosis of major depressive disorder, bipolar 1 disorder, or bipolar 2 disorder. 
  • Remission of symptoms duri...

TREATMENT

MEDICATION

There is a lack of evidence to determine whether light therapy or medication should be the first-line agent. Both are strongly supported by the literature and may have equal effica...

ONGOING CARE

FOLLOW-UP RECOMMENDATIONS

Regular monitoring by PCP or psychiatrist for response to treatment; rarely, patients may become manic when treated with SSRIs or light therapy. 

Patient Monitoring

REFERENCES

1
Lam  RW, Levitt  AJ, Levitan  RD, et al. The Can-SAD study: a randomized controlled trial of the effectiveness of light therapy and fluoxetine in patients with wint...

ADDITIONAL READING

Cools  O, Hebbrecht  K, Coppens  V, et al. Pharmacotherapy and nutritional supplements for seasonal affective disorders: a systematic review. Expert Opin Pharma...

SEE ALSO

  • Bipolar I Disorder; Bipolar II Disorder; Depression

  • Algorithm: Depressive Episode, Major

CODES

ICD10

  • F33.9 Major depressive disorder, recurrent, unspecified

  • F33.0 Major depressive disorder, recurrent, mild

  • F33.1 Major depressive disorder, recurrent, moderate

  • F33.2 Major depressv disorder, rec...

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • SAD is a subtype of both major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder, with seasonal pattern. Once the patient has a diagnosed mood disorder ask whether the symptoms vary in a season...

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