Seasonal Affective Disorder Definition
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression caused by the change in seasons. It manifests itself in many ways and has wide range and degree of symptoms.
These symptoms can differ from winter to winter, but are consistently associated with seasonal mood changes. SAD symptoms include:
• Sleepiness during the daylight hours
• Low energy
• Trouble concentrating
• Low to no motivation to exercise
• Carbohydrate cravings
• Weight gain
• Withdrawal from social situations
• A down, depressed mood during specific months
Once you are aware of the symptoms of SAD, then you want to assess whether your symptoms are mild or severe. More severe symptoms are often an indicator or SAD while mild symptoms are often indicative of winter blues, a milder form of seasonal depression. A clinical resource such as Dr. Norman Rosenthal’s book, Winter Blues, can help you assess to what degree you are experiencing seasonal mood changes and if you should seek the advice of a medical professional.