It’s normal to have bouts of depression throughout the year. That’s part of the human condition and can strike anybody at any age. However, if these emotional lows come around at the same time during the late fall or early winter and do not disappear until the spring and summer arrive, then you may have Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. SAD is a type of depression that is based on changes in the season. SAD may also have the opposite effect of causing sadness during the sunnier months (but this is rare).
Symptoms of SAD include feeling depressed for most of the day, being sluggish or lethargic, having problems sleeping and concentrating, losing motivation to do your favourite activities, and feeling hopeless or helpless with thoughts of death or suicide. If you’re feeling this way almost every day, then it’s time to see a doctor. To diagnose your condition, he or she may give you a physical exam, a psychological evaluation and lab tests.
If you have SAD, you’ll generally get better when the warmer seasons arrive. But if you want to get better sooner, your doctor may recommend some of the following treatments.
If you think you may be suffering from SAD be sure to tell a friend or family member or speak with your doctor about the condition.