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What is seasonal affective disorder?


For many Americans, the holiday season is a season of joy and happiness. Whether you are engaged in parties with friends or co-workers, or enjoying a gathering of family members or friends at home, there often seems to be much to celebrate and be thankful for during these times.

Unfortunately, for others, the holiday seasons brings out negative feelings and emotions. The winter months often brings out much colder and harsh weather, including New Jersey, and winter also keeps sunlight to a minimum with shorter days and less sunshine.

Add to it many other personal factors that may come into play, such as being single or missing loved ones who have died, and it is not hard to imagine why some people have a difficult time during the holiday season.

There is even a term and a recognized condition for this, called seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. Mental disorders such as depression may initially be triggered by SAD, but may extend well beyond the holidays and winter months. There are Social Security Disability benefits for mental conditions in place that recognize that severe depression and other mental disorders may cause a person to not be able to properly function or maintain a job. If you, or someone you know suffers from depression, you may qualify to receive Social Security Disability benefits to financially help you through your difficult and dark days. It is important to note that Social Security Disability is not designed to fully cover medical expenses, but may help supplement costs of life and lost wages while a victim fights to recover from their mental condition.

Source: Mayo Clinic, "Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)", Accessed on Dec. 13, 2016

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