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Second‐generation antidepressants for winter depression

Seasonal affective disorder (winter depression) is a type of depression that recurs in the autumn and lasts until the spring. It is similar to regular depression except sufferers are usually very tired and have an increase in their appetite. It is more common in countries with few daylight hours in winter. One of the mainstays of treatment for all depression, including winter depression, are second‐generation antidepressants (SGAs) such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). It is not clear how well these drugs work for winter depression and how they compare to each other or to other types of therapy such as light therapy.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2011

Types of depression

There are different types of depression, with different levels of severity. Some only arise under certain circumstances, for example after giving birth.Doctors differentiate between the following types of depression based on the symptoms and possible causes:

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: January 12, 2017

Light treatment for non‐seasonal depression

The reviewers conclude that the benefit of light treatment is modest though promising for non‐seasonal depression. The short‐term treatment as well as light administered in the morning and with concomitant sleep deprivation in sleep deprivation responders appear to be most beneficial for treatment response. Hypomania as a potential adverse effect needs to be considered. Due to limited data and heterogeneity of studies these results need to be interpreted with caution.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2009

Comparing Talk Therapy and Other Depression Treatments With Antidepressant Medicines: A Review of the Research for Adults

What is depression? What have researchers found about how antidepressants compare with talk therapy (also called counseling) and other depression treatments (exercise programs, acupuncture, and dietary supplements)? What should I ask my health care professional about treating my depression?

Comparative Effectiveness Review Summary Guides for Consumers [Internet] - Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US).

Version: September 13, 2016

Treatments for depression

There are various treatment options for depression. They include psychological treatments, medication and general measures such as relaxation techniques. Different treatment options are often combined.Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses. People who have depression fall into an emotional black hole for weeks or months, and often can’t see any way out. Treatment can shorten depressive episodes and relieve the symptoms in many cases.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: January 12, 2017

Melatonin and agomelatine for prevention of winter depression

Many people in northern latitudes suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which occurs as a reaction to reduced sunlight. Three‐quarters of those affected are women. Lethargy, overeating, craving for carbohydrates and depressed mood are common symptoms. In some people, SAD becomes a depression that seriously affects their daily lives. Up to two‐thirds experience depressive symptoms every winter.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2015

Psychological therapies for prevention of winter depression

Many people in northern latitudes suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which occurs as a reaction to reduced sunlight. Three‐quarters of those affected are women. Lethargy, overeating, craving for carbohydrates and depressed mood are common symptoms. In some people, SAD becomes a depression that seriously affects their daily lives. Up to two‐thirds experience depressive symptoms every winter.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2015

[Antidepressants for prevention of winter depression]

Many people in northern latitudes suffer from winter blues, which occurs as a reaction to reduced sunlight. Three‐quarters of those affected are women. Lethargy, overeating, craving for carbohydrates and depressed mood are common symptoms. In some people, winter blues becomes depression, which seriously affects their daily lives. Up to two‐thirds experience depressive symptoms every winter.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2015

Light therapy for prevention of winter depression

Many people in northern latitudes suffer from winter blues, which occurs as a reaction to reduced sunlight. Three‐quarters of those affected are women. Lethargy, overeating, craving for carbohydrates and depressed mood are common symptoms. In some people, winter blues becomes depression, which seriously affects their daily lives. Up to two‐thirds experience depressive symptoms every winter.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2015

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