Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that occurs during the same season each year. It usually happens in the fall or winter, but some people may experience season-linked symptoms in the summer.

The list of signs and symptoms of SAD is the same as the list for major depression. However, with SAD, these signs and symptoms appear and disappear at about the same time each year.

The major symptom is a sad, despairing mood that:
•is present most days and lasts most of the day
•lasts for more than two weeks
•impairs the person’s performance at work, at school or in social relationships.

Other symptoms of depression include:
•changes in appetite and weight
•sleep problems
•loss of interest in work, hobbies, people or sex
•withdrawal from family members and friends
•feeling useless, hopeless, excessively guilty, pessimistic or having low self-esteem
•agitation or feeling slowed down
•irritability
•fatigue
•trouble concentrating, remembering and making decisions
•crying easily or feeling like crying but not being able to
•thoughts of suicide (which should always be taken seriously)
•a loss of touch with reality, hearing voices (hallucinations) or having strange ideas (delusions).

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