Seasonal Affective Disorder

TB 2 Michael Munzer

What is SAD?

Seasonal affective disorder is a form of depression that only occurs at a certain time each year, most commonly the winter.

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of SAD include:


  • Changes in mood
  • Lack of enjoyment
  • Low energy

Of course, all of these would affect the person in the winter only.

How it Affects Someone

With seasonal affective disorder, someone might...

  • Get lower grades
  • Want to sleep a lot
  • Rarely feel like socializing

Other Names

As mentioned a few times now, seasonal affective disorder has the abbreviation SAD.

How SAD is Diagnosed

A doctor has to carefully evaluate a patient. Care must be taken to ensure that the patient actually has SAD, and isn't suffering from some other condition.

How SAD is Treated

Seasonal affective disorder can be treated by:


  • increased light exposure: going outside more often in the daylight
  • Light therapy: A special light simulating sunlight is placed near a person, and the person glances at it every few minutes.
  • Medication: The patient can take a certain medication to lessen the symptoms.

An Interesting Fact

In some rare cases, seasonal affective disorder can be in reverse- the depression symptoms can occur in the summer instead of the winter.