WORKPLACE / MAR. 18, 2015
version 5, draft 5

Seasonal Affective Disorder and its Effect on Workers

Winters can challenge our mood state, energy, level of alertness and motivation to finish tasks at work. This problem is apparently worse in the northern half of the US and Canada, and at similar latitudes in Europe and Asia. It’s not only cold weather; it’s also the decreased amount of daylight that turns people off. Workers, for example, enjoy light on their way to work, but the sky fades to black by the time they get home. This depression caused by the lack of light in late autumn and winter has a name: it’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Let’s shed some light on SAD:

  • 10 million Americans are estimated to be affected by SAD.
  • The further north people live, the more they likely people are affected by it.
  • Women tend to suffer from SAD more than men, but men usually exhibit the most severe symptoms.
  • A less common variety of SAD occurs in the summer and, for some reason, is associated with episodes of mania and extreme violence.
  • Some of the most common symptoms of SAD are tiredness, depression, poor sleep, irritability, and so on.
  • Treatment options include the exposure of the sufferer to natural or artificial (usually fluorescent light) for some time every day and temporary or permanent relocation to a more hospitable location.

See also: How to Deal with SAD at Work

Check out this interesting infographic by Yellowbrick, a US-based center of excellence specialising in the treatment of troubled emerging adults and their families, to find out more about Seasonal Affective Disorder.

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