The lawyers at Aaron Waxman & Associates are experienced with Disability, Personal Injury and Employment claims.
As the winter draws near, there are less hours of sunshine per day. Some people experience what is known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that is related to the change in seasons. Typically, SAD occurs in the fall and continues into the winter months, but can occur in the spring and summer months. Symptoms can start as mild and become more severe the further we get into the season.
According to the Mayo Clinic, seasonal affective disorder is a subtype of major depression, and symptoms of major depression can be a part of SAD, including low energy, loss of interest in activities, feeling depressed most of the day- every day, difficulties sleeping, fluctuations in appetite and weight, agitation and difficulty with concentration. There are symptoms specific to winter-onset seasonal affective disorder and spring/summer SAD. Symptoms specific to winter-onset seasonal affective disorder are irritability, low energy/tiredness, feelings of “heaviness”, appetite changes, weight gain.
Seasonal affective disorder affects people with bipolar disorder in particular. Fall/Winter SAD can trigger depression and spring/summer can bring symptoms of mania or hypomania.
While the exact cause of SAD is unknown, it is thought that possible causes involve the reduced level of sunlight in the fall and winter as it disrupts the body’s internal clock and it causes serotonin levels to drop. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects mood.
A new study from the University of Copenhagen seemed to identify a biological cause for seasonal affective disorder. Using Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans, the researchers observed a higher level of serotonin transporter (SERT) protein in people with SAD during the winter months, which corresponded to a greater removal of serotonin at that time.
As long-term disability lawyers, we recognize that depression and other types of psychological illnesses such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders can render a person unable to work as psychological symptoms can interfere with various aspects of a person’s life. Psychological illnesses can affect a person’s ability to concentrate, interact with co-workers, level of self-confidence, ability to multi-task, energy levels, ability to sleep amongst other symptoms.
If you have experienced a denial of short term or long term disability benefits, for any reason, it is important to know that you can fight your insurance company’s decision. Contact an experienced disability lawyer as soon as possible.
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