Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) FAQs

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Are you wondering about Seasonal Affective Disorder? Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about SAD at HealthyPlace.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) FAQs

We’re well into the month of October, and many people are starting to become concerned about how they’ll get through the winter months and stay mentally healthy (Ways to Prepare for Winter Depression). If you are one of many who wonder about seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or seasonal depression, perhaps these SAD FAQs will answer some questions.

Winter gets so long and, well, depressing. Do I have seasonal depression?

Possibly, but not necessarily. It’s common for people in the northern latitudes to become tired, lethargic, and irritable as winter trudges on. This is what “winter blues” refers to, and it’s not the same as SAD.

The winter pattern of SAD is diagnosed after two consecutive winters of depression symptoms that lessen in the spring, including:

  • low mood most of the day almost every day
  • feelings of hopelessness
  • sleep problems
  • thoughts of death or suicide

Do I have to just put up with the winter blues or SAD until spring?

Not at all. Using a lightbox daily has been shown to decrease depression symptoms. Also, exercising, healthy eating, and finding hobbies to enjoy all eradicate symptoms of seasonal depression and the winter blues.

As we approach winter, start your mentally healthy routine incorporating the above suggestions now. You might just stave of the winter blues or decrease the symptoms of SAD.

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APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2017, October 17). Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) FAQs, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Last Updated: October 23, 2017

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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