How seasonal affective disorder differs from depression

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(WETM) — As the seasons change, many people are having to adjust to the cold weather both physically and mentally. It’s that time of year where the weather turns cold and gloomy and people’s moods suffer.

Seasonal affective disorder (commonly abbreviated as SAD) affects millions of people throughout the year especially in places where sunlight becomes limited, such as the northeast during the wintertime. Local therapist, Leslie Mckenzie, helped explain how to distinguish SAD from regular depression, “Regular depression is when you constantly feel sad and upset. Where seasonal, if you get sunlight (like the last two days has been pouring rain and we have been miserable), but if the sun shines tomorrow then someone with seasonal depression would be happy.”

Common symptoms for fall and winter SAD include oversleeping, weight gain, low energy, and losing interest in activities you enjoyed just a few months ago when the weather was nice. While better weather will make you feel happy again, it is imperative to see your doctor or counselor as soon as possible when these symptoms begin to take over.

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