Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that is related to changes in seasons. The seasonal affective pattern refers to the recurrence of depressive symptoms during specific seasons, typically winter.
Some examples of symptoms of seasonal affective pattern include:
- Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
- Low energy levels, feeling sluggish
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
- Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
- Feeling agitated or irritable
- Difficulty concentrating
- Significant weight gain or loss
- Thoughts of death or suicide
People with seasonal affective pattern may experience these symptoms for several months at a time, typically starting in the fall or winter months and subsiding in the spring or summer. The exact cause of SAD is not known, but it is thought to be related to the reduced exposure to sunlight during the winter months. Light therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and antidepressant medication are commonly used treatments for seasonal affective pattern.