Seasonal Affective Disorder: Symptoms And When To See A Doctor

Seasonal affective disorder symptoms typically develop in early winter and disappear over the warmer months of spring and summer. 

Sambhav Kumar
Written by: Sambhav KumarUpdated at: Dec 30, 2022 16:31 IST
Seasonal Affective Disorder: Symptoms And When To See A Doctor

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a kind of depression associated with seasonal changes. SAD starts and ends at roughly the same time each year. If you're like the majority of SAD sufferers, your symptoms start in  autumn and linger all winter, draining your energy and making you grumpy. These symptoms typically become less intense during spring and summer. SAD causes depression less commonly in the spring or early summer and resolves more frequently in the fall or winter.

Symptoms

Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms typically develop in early winter and disappear over the warmer months of spring and summer. People who have the opposite tendency are more likely to have symptoms in the spring or summer. In any scenario, symptoms may begin modestly and worsen as the season advances.

Also read: Study: People Who Have Depression Less Likely To Have Children

  • SAD symptoms and signs may include:
  • Loss of interest in previously appreciated activities; poor energy and sluggishness
  • Craving carbohydrates, overeating, and weight gain
  • Having trouble in concentrating
  • Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, or remorse
  • Suicidal thoughts

Winter SAD

Winter-onset SAD, often known as winter depression, can cause the following symptoms:

  • Oversleeping
  • Changes in appetite, particularly a desire for carbohydrates
  • Gaining weight
  • Tiredness or a lack of energy
  • SAD In The Spring And Summer
  • Summer-onset Seasonal Affective Disorder, often known as summer depression, can cause the following symptoms:
  • Having difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • Appetite problems
  • Weight reduction
  • Anxiety or agitation
  • Heightened irritation

Bipolar disorder and seasonal changes

For those who have bipolar disorder, SAD is more common in them. Spring and summer might bring on symptoms of mania or a milder type of mania (hypomania), as well as worry, restlessness, and impatience. During the month of winter, they may also experience depression.

Also read: 1 in 8 Adults Experienced First Episode Of Depression During Pandemic: Study

When Should You See A Doctor?

It is normal to feel low sometimes. But, if you're feeling depressed for days at a time and can't get inspired to do things you generally love, consult your doctor. This is especially crucial if your sleeping and eating habits have changed and  you start using alcohol or other substances  to relax your mind, or suicidal thoughts come frequently into your mind.

 

Image Credit: FreePik

Disclaimer