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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 29, 2004

Community Invited To Seminar On Seasonal Affective Disorder, Depression

University of Iowa Health Care experts will discuss seasonal affective disorder and depression during a free community seminar from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19 at the Holiday Inn Conference Center, 1220 First Ave., Coralville.

Seasonal affective disorder, also known as SAD, is the term for the occurrence of depressive episodes at certain times of the year. In this case, depression usually occurs in the fall or winter and gets better in the spring. It must be a pattern for at least two years before a diagnosis is made.

Symptoms include sleeping too much, craving carbohydrates, overeating and weight gain.

While SAD is most prevalent in the fall and winter, other forms of depression strike millions of Americans annually. However, help is available. More than 80 percent of those suffering from depression can be treated successfully.

It is estimated that as many as one in four people will have depression at some time. Depression often occurs in people with severe health problems, such as heart disease or AIDS. Teenagers and older adults may be at high risk. Depression is more common in women than men but can affect anyone at any age, and it often runs in families.

Even though depression is common, most people do not seek help for it. People often blame themselves for feeling bad and do not let their families or doctors know how they feel. There are several signs of depression.

You may be depressed if you feel sad or empty, have lost your sense of enjoyment or fun, have lost weight without dieting, have trouble sleeping, feel either restless or really slowed down, feel like you have no energy, feel worthless or guilty, have trouble concentrating, lose interest in sex or think often about death.

The Oct. 19 presentation will include an overview and discussion of both seasonal affective disorder and depression, including the latest in research and treatment options.

Advance registration for this free community seminar is encouraged. For more information or to register, call 319-384-8442 or toll free 800-777-8442. Information is available online at

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you require an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please call Tom Walljasper, Community Relations, in advance at 319-384-7353.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,