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10 Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Winter is a tough season for almost everyone. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a condition of depression that is related to a lack of light during dark months. Bad weather, cold temperatures and the dark days of winter months in the northern hemisphere can affect individuals profoundly. We all need sun to optimize vitamin D production, and a lack of VD has been proven to negative affect individuals, as it relates to depression and a healthy immune system.

Dr. Norman Rosenthal was the first to describe the condition as seasonal affective disorder in 1984. Since then, the understanding and categorizing of this mental health issue has been changed. It is now found in the DSM IV and DSM V as a specifier for certain people who have depression, “with seasonal pattern”. Also known as seasonal adjustment disorder, the condition affects approximately 10% of people in non-tropical climates with about 20% of people reporting a milder form of the condition.

Often hidden or trivialized as something minor, SAD often takes between two and three years of occurrence for many people, before it is diagnosed. SAD is also usually present by the age of 21, and affects about twice as many women as men.

What are should you look out for, as it relates to this mental health condition? The following are the top 10 signs and symptoms of seasonal affective disorder: