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Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) FAQs

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Coming out of Depression

We’re well into the month of October, and many people are starting to become concerned about how they’ll get through the winter months and stay mentally healthy (Ways to Prepare for Winter Depression). If you are one of many who wonder about seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or seasonal depression, perhaps these SAD FAQs will answer some questions.
Winter gets so long and, well, depressing. Do I have seasonal depression?

Possibly, but not necessarily. It’s common for people in the northern latitudes to become tired, lethargic, and irritable as winter trudges on. This is what “winter blues” refers to, and it’s not the same as SAD.

The winter pattern of SAD is diagnosed after two consecutive winters of depression symptoms that lessen in the spring, including:

  • low mood most of the day almost every day
  • feelings of hopelessness
  • sleep problems
  • thoughts of death or suicide

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