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Seasonal affective disorder, winter type: current insights and treatment options

Authors Meesters Y, Gordijn MCM

Received 13 June 2016

Accepted for publication 27 September 2016

Published 30 November 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 317—327

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PRBM.S114906

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Igor Elman


Ybe Meesters,1 Marijke CM Gordijn,2,3

1University Center for Psychiatry, University Medical Center Groningen, 2Department of Chronobiology, GeLifes, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands; 3Chrono@Work B.V., Groningen, the Netherlands

Abstract: Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), winter type, is a seasonal pattern of recurrent major depressive episodes most commonly occurring in autumn or winter and remitting in spring/summer. The syndrome has been well-known for more than three decades, with light treatment being the treatment of first choice. In this paper, an overview is presented of the present insights in SAD. Description of the syndrome, etiology, and treatment options are mentioned. Apart from light treatment, medication and psychotherapy are other treatment options. The predictable, repetitive nature of the syndrome makes it possible to discuss preventive treatment options. Furthermore, critical views on the concept of SAD as a distinct diagnosis are discussed.

Keywords: seasonal affective disorder, review, light treatment, medication, psychotherapy, prevention

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