Seasonal Affective Disorder Symptoms SAD Symptoms
Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms or SAD symptoms are often overlooked or goes undiagnosed. It is important to discuss the seasonality of the depression with your doctor to assist in an accurate diagnosis. Typically these SAD symptoms appear in the winter and then diminish in the spring. Each person may exhibit different symptoms, but experience a seasonal pattern of depression.
Seasonal Affective Disorder Symptoms or SAD Symptoms may include:
Irritability and Mood Swings
Fatigue and a tendency to oversleep
*Sleep disturbances and night wakings are what are common in children with SAD
A change in appetite, including increased cravings for sweet and starchy foods
*Problems in school for children with SAD
Avoidance of social situations and lack of interest in formerly enjoyable activities
Lack of interest in sex
Using food, caffeine, cigarettes, alcohol or drugs to try and self-medicate is very common. In essence the person is trying to correct the underlying chemical imbalances in their brain to feel better.
These behaviors do provide a slight chemical boost, which is why it is difficult to break these habits even though they are not healthy behaviors. For example cigarettes, affect dopamine a neurotransmitter in the brain that stimulates the brain’s pleasure centers. If you a feeling depressed due to a chemical imbalance, it only makes sense that you would be drawn to a behavior that increases that brain chemical even if it is unhealthy.
Fall & Winter Seasonal Affective Disorder Symptoms or SAD Symptoms:
Drop out of college
End a relationship
Quit a diet / exercise routine
Eat excessively or poorly
Quit or be fired from their job
Drink alcohol in excess
Begin smoking again
Likewise in the spring it is typical to see remission of these Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms. Some people with SAD even become hyper or manic.
Spring & Summer Seasonal Affective Disorder Symptoms SAD Symptoms:
Start a new diet / exercise routine
Start a new job
Start a new hobby
Fall in love
Become more sexually active
Become very creative
It can of take people years to realize the seasonal pattern of their depression. Since everyone has bad days or time periods in their life, they may not make the connection between having Seasonal Affective Disorder and their symptoms and behaviors. When looking back over a time period, it may be easier to see the pattern from behavior.
This a list of common Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms or SAD symptoms. Each person is unique and could have any combination of one or more of these symptoms as well as others that may not be on this list. Children with Seasonal Affective Disorder may exhibit different symptoms entirely.
Please consult your doctor for medical advice as this information is not a substitute for medical advice. Depression is a serious condition requiring proper medical care.