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  • Writer's pictureVal Morrison

Are You S.A.D.?

Many people have heard of the term Seasonal Affective Disorder, but what does it mean?

Is S.A.D. a formal diagnosis?

How do you know if you have it?

What can you do if you have S.A.D.?

Where could you seek help?

Seasonal Affective Disorder is indeed a mental health issue which receives a formal diagnosis. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the signs and symptoms of S.A.D. are as follows:

  • Sadness, feeling depressed most of the day, almost every day.

  • Anxiety.

  • Carbohydrate cravings and weight gain.

  • Extreme fatigue and lack of energy.

  • Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness.

  • Trouble concentrating.

  • Feeling irritated or agitated.

  • Limbs (arms and legs) that feel heavy.

  • Loss of interest in usually pleasurable activities, including withdrawing from social activities.

  • Sleeping problems (usually oversleeping).

  • Thoughts of death or suicide.

People who have summer SAD may experience:

  • Agitation and restlessness.

  • Anxiety.

  • Decreased appetite and weight loss.

  • Episodes of violent behavior.

  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia).

If you believe you may be suffering from S.A.D., contact your family doctor, local mental health crisis agencies and/or a mental health professional who is qualified to support you.

Dr. William Leasure from the Mayo Clinic detailed in one of his articles that there are a number of effective ways to manage S.A.D. which include:

  • lightbox therapy (10,000 lux)

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for SAD

  • prescribed antidepressants

  • daily habits to prevent the onset and help minimize the impacts of SAD (exercise, time outside with natural light, healthy sleep habits, limiting sugary foods and a balanced diet)

To connect with an LRCG counsellor or therapist, head over to our homepage, click the button to book a consultation and we will be happy to connect with you!

Credits and citations from:

"Seasonal Depression (Seasonal Affective Disorder)" 2023 Cleveland Clinic

"What is seasonal affective disorder?" By Dr William Leasure; Mayo Clinic

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