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Psychol Res Behav Manag. 2016 Nov 30;9:317-327. eCollection 2016.

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

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


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.


light treatment; medication; prevention; psychotherapy; review; seasonal affective disorder

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The authors report no conflicts of interest in this work.

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