Definition: Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that is related to change in seasons. This type of depression begins and ends at about the same time every year.
- Major Depression
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a subtype of major depression
- Having low energy and losing interest in activities that you used to enjoy
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Having trouble with sleeping
- Feeling sluggish or agitated
- Having trouble concentrating
- Fall and Winter SAD
- These symptoms are specific to depression that occurs during the fall and winter, sometimes known as Winter Depression
- Problems getting along with other people
- Being very sensitive to rejection
- Craving food high in carbs
- Feeling “heavy” in the arms or legs
- Spring and Summer SAD
- These are symptoms specific to depression in the spring and summer, sometimes known as Summer Depression
- Poor appetite
- Weight loss
- Agitation or anxiety
- SAD is estimated to affect 10 million Americans
- Another 1-2 million of Americans may have a mild form of SAD
How to feel better:
- Bring light into your life. No, literally. Keep your room or wherever you are well-lit, either by opening the blinds on your window or by including a few extra lamps in your room. You can also try cutting branches or bushes obscuring light in front of your window or simply try to sit in areas that are usually bright.
- Go outside. If it’s a sunny day, get out there! It doesn’t really matter what you do outside – take a walk, eat a snack, or just enjoy the sunshine and nature around you. And if it’s cloudy or even rainy, still go outside. The outdoor light will still help elevate your mood.