A recent survey in JAMA Network Open found that the rate of depressive symptoms has tripled since the pandemic hit. I created the phrase Pandemic Squared to describe this phenomenon, and how COVID-19 has been multiplied by another pandemic of psychological issues, including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and addiction. Now, add in shorter days, less sunlight, and colder weather and it’s another round of Pandemic Squared—this time with SAD.
What causes SAD? Research shows contributing factors may include abnormal regulation of the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin, increased production of melatonin, and decreased levels of vitamin D.
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