Winter can be difficult for anyone. With the cold weather that comes with the darkest months of the year, winter often has an even darker side for many individuals: Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. As the winter forces most people indoors for the majority of the season, it often leads to a lack of Vitamin D, resulting in overwhelming depression and other medical issues. While winter is the most common time for SAD, there are other people who suffer from it during the spring, summer or fall as well! SAD is often difficult to diagnose, but when it is diagnosed, it is often characterized by the following symptoms.
Depression. Depression is one of the most tell-tale signs of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Typically, for an individual to be diagnosed as having SAD, they must meet a specific criterion of depression that coincides with specific seasons for two years or more. This depression is characterized by feeling depressed throughout the day consistently, feeling worthless, losing interest in one’s favorite activities and social withdrawal. Incidentally, people that have a family history involving other forms of depression are more at risk for developing Seasonal Affective Disorder. While there are many possible treatments for depression, if it is seasonal, the doctor will likely prescribe light therapy.