The following is the Seasonal Light/SAD Homepage's 
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:
   FAQ, Seasonal Light/SAD 
   Date: Sat 14 Feb 1998
   Q. What is SAD and what causes it?
   A. The group of symptoms which doctors and therapists use to diagnose
   depression ("depressive symptoms"), which includes the important
   proviso that the symptoms have manifested for more than a few weeks
   and that they are interfering with normal life, are the result of an
   alteration in brain chemistry.  This alteration is similar to temporary, 
   normal variations in brain chemistry which can be triggered by illness, 
   stress, frustration, or grief, but it differs in that it is self-sustaining and 
   does not resolve itself upon removal of such triggering events (if any such 
   trigger can be found at all, which is not always the case.)  SAD is 
   characterised by the sufferer living a "normal," healthy life during the 
   summer months, but developing or even crashing into a depressive episode 
   during the autumnal and winter season.  Frequently, the depressive phases 
   sets in around September or October, and will recede in May or June.  
   A recurrent pattern of depression during winter and good health during 
   summer is very suggestive of SAD.
   Q. What are some electronic resources on the Internet related to depression?
   A. There is the list compiled and maintained by Sylvia Caras, posted 
   periodically to ThisIsCrazy-L (see below for subscription information).  
   If you would like to suggest additions for their list, contact:

   To suggest additions to this list for the FAQ, send        
   them to:
   * Newsgroups:
   * There are the WWW sites Seasonal Light/SAD set up by Lou Puls,, and Anne Harris,, dealing
   exclusively with SAD and seasonal light.
   The addresses are:
   These sites cover book listings, articles, and information on
   membership organizations and light-box and other seasonal light device
   manufacturers.  From there are links to most of the seasonal sites.
   * Internet Health Resources is an extensive listing of medical
   resources available over the internet:
   cd pub/hmatrix
   get file medlst03.txt or
   * An FTP site at Temple University containing articles related to
   * ThisIsCrazy is an electronic action and information letter for
   people who experience moods swings, fright, voices, and visions
   (People Who). To subscribe, send a message to :
   with this command in the body of the message:
   subscribe ThisIsCrazy-L
   * Pendulum is a mailing list for people diagnosed with bipolar mood
   disorder (manic depression) and related disorders and their
   supporters, and some professionals. To subscribe to pendulum, send a
   message to:
   containing the line:
   subscribe pendulum
   * Walkers-in-Darkness is a list for people diagnosed with various
   depressive disorders (unipolar, atypical, and bipolar depression,
   S.A.D., related disorders). The list also includes sufferers of panic
   attacks and Borderline Personality Disorder. Please, no researchers
   trying to study us, etc. (Postings are copyrighted by individual
   To subscribe to walkers or walkers-digest, send a message to:
   containing the line "subscribe walkers" or, for the digest, "subscribe
   walkers-digest". There is an anonymous FTP site at:
   in ~/pub/walkers, that includes a technical FAQ.
   * To subscribe to the Mailbase list psychiatry send the command:
   SUBSCRIBE psychiatry to
   Q. How can I post anonymously to alt(soc).support.depression.seasonal?
   A. To get information on an anonymous remailer which is intended only
   for the use of support groups, including all the depression ones,
   Source: Steven Lindblom 
   For more information, consult the Privacy & Anonymity on the Internet 
   FAQ, posted regularly to sci.crypt, comp.society.privacy, and alt.privacy.
======= FAQ. Copyright (c) 1994 Cynthia Frazier.
   Lou Puls' WWW site. (See above).
   Pamphlet: Depression: What you need to know, National Institute of
   Mental Health, by Marilyn Sargent. Office of Scientific Information
   National Institute of Mental Health, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual
   of Mental Disorders. The DSM stands for the Diagnostic and Statistical
   Manual of Mental Disorders. It is published by the American
   Psychiatric Association. The latest version is the DSM-IV (1995).
   For reference, the DSM-III was published in 1980. The first edition of
   this manual was published in 1952, and the second edition in 1968.
   It is used by the vast majority of psychologists and mental health 
   professionals in the United States of America as a diagnostic tool. 
   Psychiatrists and professionals outside of the U.S. will often use a 
   diagnostic system called ICD-9, which differs in many respects from 
   the DSM.

Useful introductory books:
   Winter Blues: Seasonal Affective Disorder and How to Overcome it.
   Author: Norman Rosenthal, M.D.
   Publisher/Year: The Guilfold Press; 1993
   Seasons of the Mind
   Author: Norman E. Rosenthal, M.D.
   Publisher/Year: Bantam Books 1990
   ISBN: 0-553-34993-7
   Comments from slipcover: "When the seasons change...1. Do you find you
   have less energy than usual? 2. Do you feel less productive or
   creative? 3. Do you feel sad, down,or depressed? 4. Do you need more
   sleep than usual? 5. Do you feel you have no control over your
   appetite? Dr. Rosenthal explores the many dimensions of SAD and
   explains how weather changes can affect our sleeping patterns, our
   diet, our ability to cope with stress, and even our social
   interactions. He offers his own proven program for overcoming SAD,
   including nutritional advice, medication, and "light therapy," as well
   as a complete source listing of SAD treatment centers around the
   country. Complete with a special self-test to determine your own level
   of SAD, the book offers insight and reassurance to the millions who
   suffer from seasonal depression and shows what they can do to start
   feeling better all year long."
   For the full listing of Seasonal/SAD books, see the website at:
              Seasonal Light/SAD Homepage
   FAQ Contributors
   Becky Elmont,NY
   Brian Gerred
   Cynthia Frazier,, Lansing, NY
   Dawn Sharon Friedman
   Anne Harris,
   Lou Puls,   
   Dana Quinn
   John M. Grohol,, Nova S.E. University
   Joy Ikelman Boulder, CO
   Keith Rich,
   Mary-Anne Wolf
   Rachel Findley
   Robert Orenstein,
   Silja Muller
   Stephan Klaus Heilmayr Oakland, CA
   Sue W.
   Sylvia Caras Owner, ThisIsCrazy-L
   Todd Daniel Woodward Mountain View, CA
   Wes Melander
   Editor: Lou Puls
   All corrections, suggestions and additions gratefully received!
   Most of this FAQ has been taken directly from the FAQ, edited by Cynthia Frazier
   ( Portions (c) 1994 Cynthia Frazier.
   Special thanks to Ivan Goldberg, MD, NY Psychopharmacologic Inst.,
   who has provided many of the questions and answers as well as made
   corrections throughout the FAQ.
   Getting Help
   Q. Where should a person go for help?
   A. If you think you might need help, see your internist or general
   practitioner and explain your situation. Sometimes an actual physical
   illness can cause depression-like symptoms so that is why it is best
   to see your regular physician first to be checked out. Your doctor
   should be able to refer you to a psychiatrist if the severity of your
   depression warrants it.  Other sources of help include the members of 
   the clergy, local suicide hotline, local hospital emergency room, or 
   your local mental health center, which can provide local and broader 
   Following is a list of organisations:
1. NOSAD - National Organization for Seasonal Affective Disorder (USA)
NOSAD is a national group founded in 1988 to support the interests of patients
with SAD.  Its membership is open to patients, relatives, friends, interested
professionals, and any others who wish to further its goals.  These 
(1) disseminating information about SAD by means of a regular 
(2) offering support groups to patients and their families in a manner 
that has been successful for many other medical and psychiatric 
(3) working for things that are important to people with SAD - for 
example, insurance reimbursement for light fixtures.
The parent body has been established in the Washington DC metropolitan area,
but members are eager to develop satellite groups across the country.  If you
are interested in finding out more about NOSAD, or in starting your own local
chapter of the group, write to:
P.O. Box 40190 
Washington DC 20016                                     
P.O. Box 451 
Vienna, VA 22180
Note from
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995
Subject: NOSAD
NOSAD has been re-started. A new newsletter has been put together and 
will be mailed shortly to past members. 
Source: David Beningson, Marketing Manager, Bio-Brite

2. SADA - the Seasonal Affective Disorder Association (UK)

SADA is the Seasonal Affective Disorder Association. It is a UK
registered charity (No. 800917) which is there to help people with SAD
by providing information. It organises meetings for sufferers and
professionals, it has a nationwide network of support groups, it
provides SAD information packs to sufferers, to health professionals
and to the media. It keeps an eye on scientific developments in the
field. SADA was founded by Jennifer Eastwood in 1985. SADA has now
grown into a professional organisation.  The annual membership fee is
very reasonable, and well worth it. To obtain a brief datasheet send 
a Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope.  For the full SADA info pack 
including listing of recommended UK suppliers, send cheque/PO for 
6 pounds, or to join send 10 pounds to: [updated 14 Feb 98:]
                            The Secretary, SADA
                                 PO Box 989
                            STEYNING, BN44 3HG
     Sources: Mike Ferenczi 
              Steve Hayes 
3. Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms (SLTBR)
Updated address: 
   10200 West 44th Avenue, Suite 304
   Wheat Ridge, Colorado, 80033-2840, USA 
   Tel: (303) 424-3697
   Fax: (303) 422-8894
They also have a new (3 Apr 96) Website at: 
Source, dated 3 April 1996:
  Raymond W. Lam, M.D.
  Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia
  Director, Mood Disorders Clinic
  Vancouver Hospital & Health Sciences Centre
  2255 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6T 2A1
  Tel:  604-822-7325     Fax:  604-822-7922

4. Sun Net 
P. O. Box 10606 
Rockville, MD 20850 

5. Seasonal Studies 
National Institute of Mental Health
Building 10/4S-239 
9000 Rockville Pike 
Bethesda, MD 20892 

***Please email me additions, updates, corrections, etc.***
Lou Puls,

   Q. Where can I find help in the United Kingdom?
   A. The following are places one might find help in Great Britain:
   Depressives Associated
   PO Box 1022
   London SE1 7QB
   Depressives Anonymous
   36 Chestnut Avenue
   HU17 9QU
   MIND (National association for mental health)
   22 Harley Street
   London W1N 2ED
   The Samaritans (Telephone counselling service & hotline)
   Tel: 0345 909090 Local call.
   To find a psychiatrist/ psychologist near you, call or write:
   Royal College of Psychiatrists
   17 Belgrave Square
   London SW1X 8PG
           Seasonal Light/SAD Homepage