Seasonal affective disorder is related to seasonal variations in light during the fall and winter months. With less daylight, our Melatonin production increases which impacts our sleep-wake cycle. Symptoms of seasonal affective disorder include a depressed mood, low energy or fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, over sleeping and weight gain. As parents, we often think if our kids are sad and stressed during the school year that it must be related to a busy schedule, more pressure or academic rigor. Perhaps it is. But, if you notice a pattern of concerns, talk to your child’s pediatrician. There are ways to manage
seasonal affective disorder and also available are various treatment options that your pediatrician can discuss with you.