Seasonal Depression (SAD)

Seasonal depression is a mood disorder where people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year have depressive symptoms in the winter, summer, autumn, or spring year after year. Symptoms of Seasonal Depression may include difficulty in waking up in the morning, morning sickness, tendency to oversleep and over eat (especially a craving for carbohydrates which leads to weight gain). Other symptoms include a lack of energy difficulty concentrating on or completing tasks and withdrawal from friends, family, and social activities.

Treatments for seasonal depression may include:

  • Light Therapy: Consists of exposure to sunlight to act as a treatment in Winter.
  • Ionized-Air Administration: Helps to purify the air for a calming effect.
  • Medication: Helps to delay and supress the illness but may not cure it completely.
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: This is a talking therapy where you try and calm the emotions of the person with the illness.

Light Therapy

For people with seasonal depression, their daily activities can easily be affected. Near Winter months, they may feel gloomy and depressed often because of the lack of sunlight and dark weather patterns. This can even last until Spring and even Summer.

Winter Weather

In most cases, seasonal depression varies depending on latitude, age, and sex. Obviously there are longer periods of Winter weather patterns with harsher conditions and storms in the northern part of the globe. Since sunlight decreases with higher latitude, the length of day appears to be a factor. This can mean there is an increase in the probably of seasonal depression there.
SAD Weight Gain Chart

Help Line

  • SAD: Seasonal Affective Disorder.
  • Depression: A condition of general emotional withdrawal.
  • Stress: A specific response by the body to a stimulus, as fear or pain, that disturbs or interferes with the normal physiological equilibrium of a person.

  • Sleep Disorders: An illness where a person wakes up when they are sleeping or has difficulty entering the sleep cycle (Insomnia is an example of this.

Web Linker
Mayo Clinic (SAD)
Canadian Mental Health Association (SAD)
Psychology Information Online (SAD)