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Seasonal Affective Disorder (Seasonal Depression)


Written by Emily Santrac

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as seasonal depression, is a form of depression that relates to changes in the seasons. People with SAD feel depressed during specific seasons, and fine during other seasons. Most people with SAD feel their symptoms at the beginning of fall until the end of winter, but SAD may also cause depression during the spring and/or early summer, and then resolved in winter months. Many people feeling symptoms of SAD may brush it off as “winter blues” and try to ignore it until warmer months arrive, but SAD should be acknowledged for what it is: a real mental health struggle.


It’s important to be able to recognize if you or a friend are struggling, especially during colder months, when feelings may be more difficult to deal with. You might be confused and asking yourself questions such as “Why do I feel fine one month and completely terrible the next?” or “Why is my friend upbeat during the summer and moody once fall starts?” This blog will attempt to bring attention to this disorder, since so many people are struggling during these months without knowing why.


How Do I Know if I Have SAD?

The best way to know if you have struggle with seasonal depression is to speak with a licensed professional. They can help you work through your feelings during these difficult times.


While SAD can take various forms, and looks different in everyone, here are some of the symptoms of SAD. Knowing these symptoms can help you identify whether or not you or a friend may have SAD. This can further push you to get the help you need, or bring support to those you are close to.