Fall is here! With the change of seasons may also come a change in mood/behavior that may present itself as Season Affective Disorder. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, Seasonal Affective Disorder is “a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons, typically starting in the late fall and early winter and going away during the spring and summer(NIMH, March 2016). To be diagnosed with SAD, individuals must meet full criteria for major depression coinciding with specific seasons for at least 2 years. Symptoms may resemble feeling hopeless or worthless, having low energy, having problems sleeping, feeling sluggish, having difficulty concentrating, weight gain, cravings for carbs, etc. However significant the symptoms may appear, there are various forms of treatment and interventions that can be used to treat SAD. Medication, Light Therapy, Psychotherapy and Vitamin D are often used in combination or alone. Talk to your doctor or counselor if you feel you may be experiencing SAD or have experienced SAD in the past.
For more information/resources on Seasonal Affect Disorder, please visit the sites below.
- U.S National Library of Medicine
- American Family Physician
- National Center for Biotechnology Information