Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

What is it?

Seasonal Affective Disorder is also known as the “Winter Blues” because those who suffer with it feel down, depressed, experience loss of energy, changes in appetite/sleep patterns during the winter months. The condition is believed to be due to the lower light levels that are around during winter. It is quite common for people to begin to experience symptoms at the beginning of autumn and throughout winter, as the days begin to get shorter. SAD symptoms often tend to improve or disappear completely in the summer and spring months. Symptoms of SAD can include persistent low mood, irritable, lack of energy and a loss of pleasure in everyday activities.

DIY self diagnosis

If you can answer YES to the majority of these questions you may be experiencing SAD:
  • During the autumn and winter months, do you find you are more likely to experience persistent low mood?
  • During the autumn and winter months, do you find yourself more irritable for no specific reason?
  • Do you experience a loss of pleasure or interest in activities during the autumn and winter months, that you would normally enjoy?
  • Do you find yourself more tired and lethargic during the autumn and winter months?
Anxiety UK strongly advises that people seek further information and guidance from their GP who will be able to make a formal diagnosis.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Fact Sheet

This fact sheet gives a detailed overview, as well as a look at some of the evidence based approaches to treating SAD.
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Recommended resources

Overcoming Worry and GAD

Overcoming Worry and Generalised Anxiety Disorder is a step-by-step guide to self-improvement, which makes use of CBT techniques. You can purchase this book from the Anxiety UK online shop here.

Worry Box is designed to help you understand your anxiety – your worry – and introduce you to a great way to fix it You can purchase yours from the Anxiety UK online shop here.