• Judith Zucker, LCSW

Seasonal Affective Disorder, What Is It Exactly?

With the holidays being over and the colder months creeping in it’s hard to not fall to seasonal depression (SAD).

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is depression that gets triggered by a change in seasons. This seasonal depression usually gets worse in the winter.


Some people may get a mild version of SAD known as the “winter blues.” If you feel this way do not forget that it is normal.



About 5% of adults in the United States experience SAD. Out of this 5%, 75% are women.


Symptoms of SAD sadness, anxiety, carbohydrate cravings, and weight gain. Extreme fatigue, lack of energy, feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness are also symptoms.


Some symptoms that often show in a work environment are Inability to concentrate, irritability, limbs feeling heavy, loss of interest in usual activities, including withdrawing from social activities, and sleeping more.


SAD can be treated with regular therapy. Environmental changes can also be made to encourage treatment. Ask your doctor before taking them, but Vitamin D supplements are recommended. Making an effort to spend time outdoors is also helpful.


SAD can also be prevented. When you feel the winter months creeping up, take some time to do activities that bring you joy! Get outside, seek help prior, see friends, take care of your physical health, and do not forget to engage in things that you love.


The outlook of seasonal depression is optimistic. Seasonal depression usually lasts seasonally!


Before you know it, springtime will be right around the corner. Beautiful flowers will bloom and you can engage in the outdoor activities you missed participating in.


If you need a reminder and solution to get through the winter do not hesitate to reach out!