New study suggests people with OCD are especially sensitive to the seasons
By Christian Jarrett The clocks have gone back and there’s a chill in the air. It’s well known that during these darker months, a significant minority of us experience unwelcome negative changes to our mood (at least if you believe in the notion of Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD, which not all experts do). Now an intriguing study in Psychiatry Research has explored the link this condition may have with another psychiatric diagnosis, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The results suggest that people with OCD are more likely than average to experience seasonal effects on their mood, and that for these seasonally sensitive people with OCD, their “compulsions” are worse in the colder months. It’s already established that some of the underlying neurophysiology of SAD and OCD is the same, involving dysfunction of the neurotransmitter serotonin, note the study authors Oğuz Tan and his colleagues at Uskudar University in Turkey. They also point to past research that has shown the prevalence of OCD is highest in Autumn, and that light therapy, used to treat SAD, has been shown to benefit some people with OCD. To further study the links between OCD and SAD, Tan and his team recruited 104 people in Istanbul diagnosed with OCD (and most of whom were on drug treatments) and 125 local controls without OCD (controls were included if they had other mental health problems, unless they were considered too severe, such as a diagnosis of schiz...
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A headband worn for 20 minutes before bedtime may help beat insomnia. One person in ten in the UK has difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep, with women twice as likely to be affected as men.