What are Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Yesterday we met Cindy who is most likely suffering from SAD. What exactly is Seasonal Affective Disorder? It’s a type of depression that affects a person during the same season each year. If you get depression in the winter, but feel much better in the Spring & Summer, you may have SAD.


What are the symptoms?

  • Feeling sad, grumpy, moody or anxious

  • loss of interest in usual activities or activities once enjoyed

  • eating more/craving carbohydrates, such as bread & pasta

  • weight gain

  • sleeping more, oversleeping, &/or feeling drowsy during the day

  • hopelessness

  • social withdrawal

  • appetite changes

  • difficulty concentrating & processing information (slowed thinking)

SAD is a cyclic and seasonal condition, meaning symptoms come and go about the same time every year. Symptoms start in September/October and end in April/May. Symptoms of SAD & Clinical Depression are very similar, so your doctor or therapist may have questions for you to answer in order for them to know how to treat you appropriately. It’s normal to have days that are up and down. But, if you feel down for days at a time and can’t get motivated, or have thoughts of suicide, see your doctor or therapist immediately.

Stay tuned as we continue going thru the risk factors for SAD & how to manage and survive the seasonal depression. Thanks for reading!

Written by: Tamara McCord MA, LMHC, LCAC

*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.