In The News

23 Oct 2010

Beat the winter blues

As the days get shorter, Seasonal Affective Disorder is triggered in millions of people. Lisa Salmon looks at what causes the depression and how sufferers can cope.

Increasingly long, dark nights as winter approaches leave few people jumping for joy.

But for as many as 3 million people in the UK, the longer hours of darkness bring true misery, triggering the form of winter depression known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

The condition is thought to affect around 6% of people in this country between September and April.

Light therapy, which is one of the primary treatments for SAD, involves sufferers positioning themselves near a specially-designed bright light every day, sometimes for up to four hours.

Other treatments include talking therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), or anti-depressants.

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