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Severe Atypical Symptoms Without Depression in SAD: Effects of Bright Light Therapy

J Clin Psychiatry 1997;58(11):495 [letter]

Letter to the Editor

Sir: Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is characterized by the recurrence of depressive episodes during specific seasons. In most cases, the episodes begin in fall or winter and remit in the following spring or summer. SAD patients typically fulfill the diagnostic criteria for recurrent major depressive disorder or type II bipolar affective disorder, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV). Furthermore, the patients mostly suffer from atypical symptoms such as hypersomnia, hyperphagia, and carbohydrate craving along with consequent weight gain and fatigue. Bright light therapy is a popular treatment strategy for SAD, winter type.