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Seasonal Affective Disorder Symptoms & Diagnosis

Symptoms

People with SAD have seasonal symptoms that come and go each year. They usually peak during the winter and disappear during the spring and summer.

Symptoms can include:

  • Depressed mood, feelings of sadness
  • Cravings for sweet or starchy foods
  • Overeating
  • Significant weight gain or loss
  • Lack of energy
  • Oversleeping or insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Social withdrawal
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Decreased sexual desire

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. You may be referred to a specialist in treating depression.

A diagnosis of SAD will only be made if you have some of the symptoms above and:

  • Your symptoms have occurred annually for at least two years
  • You have complete relief from symptoms during the summer months

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2020 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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