Feel bad in cold months? There might be a reason

Published 2:15 am Saturday, November 4, 2017

What is SAD?

Mental Health America, a leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness, defines SAD as a mood disorder associated with depression and related to seasonal variations of light. Though many people may be saddened when the clocks are turned back and the sun sets earlier than it does in the warmer months, MHA notes that a diagnosis of SAD can only be made after the symptoms of SAD have appeared for three consecutive winters and have gone into remission once spring and summer have arrived.


What are the symptoms of SAD?

Simply feeling bummed out that winter is on the horizon does not mean a person has SAD. The following are some of the more common symptoms of the disorder:

  • Depression marked by feelings of misery, guilt, hopelessness, despair, and apathy. A loss of self-esteem may also occur.
  • Feelings of anxiety that include tension and an inability to tolerate stress
  • Mood changes that are sometimes extreme; some SAD sufferers experience feelings of mania in spring and summer.
  • Changes in sleeping habits, such as a desire to oversleep and difficulty staying awake. Some people may experience disturbed sleep and find themselves waking up in early morning when they are unaccustomed to doing so.
  • Feelings of fatigue and an inability to adhere to one’s normal routine


Who is most likely to suffer from SAD?

The Mayo Clinic notes that SAD is diagnosed more often in women than in men, and MHA notes that three out of four SAD sufferers are women.


More information about seasonal affective disorder is available at www.mentalhealthamerica.net.