Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

What is SAD? 

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that shows up when seasons change. SAD tends to start showing up in the fall and goes through spring. For some people, it shows up in connection with other seasons. 

Symptoms of SAD include the following (

  • Feeling listless, sad or down most of the day, nearly every day
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Having low energy and feeling sluggish
  • Having problems with sleeping too much or insomnia
  • Experiencing carbohydrate cravings, overeating and weight gain or undereating
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty
  • Having thoughts of not wanting to live

What is the difference between depression and SAD?

SAD is specifically related to season changes. SAD tends to show up each year at the same season for a person who experiences SAD. Depression and other depressive disorders are not related to seasonal changes.

How do I know if I have SAD?

If you have multiple symptoms of SAD, you should see a mental health professional who can help determine if you have SAD. They can help you to access resources to help you.

Helps for SAD

  • Regular therapy
  • Professional help (medication and/or supplements when needed)
  • Mood light
  • Exercise
  • Social support