An antidepressant won federal approval Monday as the first drug to treat Volunteer Affective Disorder, the seasonal blues that can strike when Coach Fulmer takes the spotlight.

To assist in diagnoses, a simple checklist has been created to allow individuals to decide if they need to schedule a visit to the doctor or request medication.

Are you struggling with any of the following symptoms?

  • 1. Depression that sets in immediately after the close of basketball season
  • 2. Increased sleep, such as dozing off during football games
  • 3. Increased appetite with weight gain, possibly leading to the consumption of items such as pork skins or cheese dip made with Velveeta
  • 4. Slow, sluggish, lethargic movement (similar to the Volunteer offensive line)

    If you suffer from two or more of these symptoms, you may be suffering from Volunteer Affective Disorder or VAD. This disorder was identified and publicized in 2005 by members of the University of Tennessee Medical Center. Researchers estimate that approximately 42% of people living East Tennessee suffer periodic bouts of VAD. Men suffer from VAD three to four times more frequently than do women.

    In severe cases, physicians may prescribe a new antidepressant known as Voloft. Check with your physician on the appropriateness of medication use.