S.A.D Symptoms

Seasonal Affective Disorder Symptoms

Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms are not that different than symptoms of other kinds of depression. The biggest difference is that these symptoms are seasonal and typically happen in colder months with shorter days and less light exposure, the autumn months through the winter months. For sufferers, this is an annual event.

Anyone who does not suffer the symptoms described here on a year round basis probably does not have Seasonal Affective Disorder. That is a different type of depression, but it still needs to be treated by a professional. Also, it is possible that a person could have situational depression; that is, depression due to a circumstance in his or her life. This needs treatment as well, but if it does not happen on an annual basis, and particularly in the winter, it is probably not Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Sleep Problems

There is a divergence in how sleep problems affect people with Seasonal Affective Disorder. Some find that they suffer from insomnia; others find that they want to sleep more, and cannot wake up when it’s time. Some may even wake up sick in the morning. This can be treated with medication and light therapy in the form of dawn simulation; which is an attempt at turning around sleeping patterns.


As in other forms of depression, one of the Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms is binge eating; particularly on high carbohydrate foods. This is probably a result of trying to feel better by eating comfort foods which are high in sugar, or those which are high in fat and bread content like pizza. Normally, a low carbohydrate diet and/or lots of exercise are recommended for combating weight gain due to overeating. Conversely, it is not uncommon for someone to lose a lot of weight during this time.


Sufferers of Seasonal Affective Disorder often feel rundown and drained of energy. This is normal with depression, but it is aggravated by insomnia, lack of exercise, and overeating. Treatment for fatigue may include sleeping therapy, an exercise program, better eating habits, and even negative ion therapy which is believed to restore energy.

Lack of Concentration

A patient with Seasonal Affective Disorder may have problems with concentration. This can happen while working, reading, watching television, or just completing tasks in general.

Becoming Inverted

One of the common Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms is withdrawal from family, friends, and co-workers. A patient may find that he or she has become inverted and a reclusive.

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