Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

SAD is a type of depression. Less sunlight and shorter days are thought to be linked to a chemical change in the brain and may be the cause of SAD. Most people with SAD will experience symptoms during the winter months. This can also be known as the ‘winter blues.

Symptoms may include:

  • increased sleep and daytime drowsiness
  • loss of interest and pleasure in activities
  • social withdrawal
  • irritability and anxiety
  • fatigue and low energy levels
  • decreased ability to concentrate.
  • difficulty focusing or thinking clearly.
  • Increased appetite.
  • Reduction in sex drive

It is important to seek support from your GP is you feel you have any symptoms or feel your mental health has deteriorated.

Treatment may include:

  • talking therapy
  • medication

How you can help yourself:

  • getting out of the house whenever possible to get as much natural sunlight as you can.
  • sit near windows when you are inside.
  • light therapy boxes which stimulate the sunlight that is missing can help but these may not be suitable if you are sensitive to bright light or if you are taking medication that increases your sensitivity to light (check with GP if in doubt).
  • eating a healthy and balanced diet
  • if possible, avoid stressful situations and take steps to manage stress.

Further information can be gained form: