GQ Magazine: Seasonal Affective Disorder

How Seasonal Affective Disorder Could be Impacting your Wellbeing

by Dr Leigh A Neal

Consultant Psychiatrist and Medical Director at Smart TMS

GQ Magazine published a feature by Smart TMS’s Dr Leigh Neal, exploring what SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is and whether it could be seriously impacting your wellbeing.

Seasonal affective disorder is estimated to affect around 1 in 5 Brits. It usually starts around October, with the symptoms most severe around January and February.

Seasonal Affective Disorder varies in severity from person to person. For the majority symptoms are mildly debilitating, but around 3% of the popular will suffer with the most severe form of SAD which can prevent normal functioning without appropriate treatment.

british GQ magazineDr Neal explains the symptoms in GQ magazine:

“Sufferers notice a significant reduction in energy levels during winter months and often feel less inclined to socialise. They may also experience a change in appetite and sleep patterns, irritability or feelings of despair. Symptoms can disappear altogether during spring and summer months, and then return again during autumn. Confusingly, there is such a thing as reverse SAD, a version of the disorder in which sufferers notice a worsening of symptoms during summer months. This variation is relatively rare.

“SAD is a form of depression. It is related to changes in season and exposure to sunlight. In the UK we experience fairly significant changes in the levels of daylight we are exposed to from winter to summer, making us particularly susceptible to seasonal affective disorder. The exact reasons why people suffer from SAD are still relatively unknown, although many people suggest that lack of sunlight exposure can impact our hormone levels, particularly melatonin and serotonin – the hormones that have a direct impact on our mood, appetite and sleep patterns.”

“As with any form of depression, there are several options for treatment. As well as talking therapies, some patients opt to ease symptoms using antidepressants or by making changes to lifestyle. There is also a new option available: Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).”

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Read full article: GQ Magazine: How seasonal affective disorder could be impacting your wellbeing

Depression Treatment

It is important to identify and treat persistent and severe cases of depression, including seasonal.

Conventional treatment tends to be based around antidepressants and/or lifestyle changes – including exposure to daylight or light boxes.

rTMS, or Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, is a new form of treatment offered by Dr Leigh Neal at Smart TMS.

TMS is clinically proven and has been approved by NICE for treating depression. This treatment uses magnetic pulses to stimulate the specific areas of the brain associated with stress and/or depression. It is a non-medication route which has shown remarkable results even in severe cases. See testimonials.

Find out more about how rTMS Treatment works.


Dr Leigh A Neal is a consultant psychiatrist and Medical Director of  Smart TMS, a London-based clinic offering Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation – a non-medication-based mental health treatment.

He has been a Consultant Psychiatrist for over 20 years with a career including work within the Armed Forces, NHS and Independent Sector.

Smart TMS Clinics

Smart TMS is a specialist provider of TMS treatment, located at clinics in London, Birmingham and Dublin with expansion planned for Manchester and Bristol in 2018. Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation therapy (rTMS) is a technological breakthrough in the treatment of depression with a variety of further potential treatment applications.

Smart TMS is a specialist provider of TMS treatment in London. Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation therapy (rTMS) is a technological breakthrough in the treatment of depression with a variety of further potential treatment applications.

Smart TMS is located within The Smart Clinics in South Kensington/Brompton Cross.


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Tel: 0345 222 5678