Video: Season Change Can Impact Psychiatric Symptoms in Children

September 19, 2010 Angela McClanahan

Fall is upon us. The shorter days and less light affects my son's mood. Have you noticed any changes in your child's mood? Or yourself?

For people with psychiatric symptoms, fall and winter can be synonymous with depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder. Also known as the winter blues or winter depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) causes some children and adults to experience a serious mood change when the seasons change. They may sleep too much, have little energy, and may also feel depressed.

Seasonal Affective Disorder Video

In this video on Seasonal Affective Disorder in children and mood changes in those children with mental illness, I discuss how fall and winter affect my son, Bob, who has bipolar disorder and ADHD.

Seasonal Affective Disorder in Children

About 3-percent of children and adolescents suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. The symptoms of SAD in children include:

  • Reduced energy levels
  • Increased anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Oversleeping
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • A change in appetite. Sweets and starch cravings.

Treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder in Children

If you're child has bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, ADHD or other psychiatric illness and you've noticed significant mood changes during the fall or winter months, it's important to discuss these with the doctor. Seasonal Affective Disorder treatment for children is very similar to that recommended for adults.

  • Light therapy
  • Dawn stimulation - getting up early to catch more sunlight
  • Additional sunlight exposure
  • Eating a balanced diet

You can read more about Self-Help Treatment for Winter Blues (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and signs, symptoms, causes and treatments for Seasonal Affective Disorder here.

APA Reference
McClanahan, A. (2010, September 19). Video: Season Change Can Impact Psychiatric Symptoms in Children, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, June 5 from

Author: Angela McClanahan

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