Early diagnosis of the condition can be incredibly helpful in treating it. Experts may conduct one or more of the following tests to determine the presence of SAD and its severity:
- Physical examination
- Psychological evaluation
- Lab tests
- SAD criteria-related evaluation based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM – 5), an American Psychiatric Association publication.
The three most common forms of treatment to manage the condition include:
Medications: Antidepressants such as bupropion may be prescribed to prevent severe depressive episodes.
- Psychotherapy: Also known as talk therapy, psychotherapy may help identify the triggers of depressive episodes and how to cope with those triggers.
- Light therapy: As SAD is often reported in individuals residing in places with low levels of sunlight, light therapy or phototherapy may be effective in maintaining the balance of serotonin and melatonin.
Seasonal affective disorder is usually self-diagnosable. It is treatable. Hence, do not hesitate to seek the help of a medical professional if you think you have the condition.