What is seasonal affective disorder?

By: Bobbie Hasselbring

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is another type of depression. If you have all or some of the symptoms of clinical depression and they occur only at certain times - usually in the late fall and winter - you may have SAD.

What Are the Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder?

People who have seasonal affective disorder usually have these symptoms:


  • depressed mood, sluggishness, irritability, or anxiety that starts in late fall or early winter
  • sleeping for longer periods of time and withdrawing from social activities during the late fall and winter months
  • binging on carbohydrates during the fall and winter
  • weight gain during the late fall and winter months, as much as 10 to 20 pounds
  • freedom or relief from depressed symptoms with the coming of spring