SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression linked to seasonal changes. The symptoms of SAD typically appear during the autumn and winter months and subside in the spring and summer. Those who suffer from SAD may find that the symptoms follow a predictable pattern each year.


SAD is thought to be caused by the decrease in daylight hours and the decrease in sunlight intensity during the winter months in areas farther away from the equator.


It is easy to dismiss feelings of sadness during certain times of the year as just being a bit down. Still, you must consult a doctor if you experience seasonal depression regularly.


It is believed that the lack of sunlight during the winter months can disrupt the body's natural circadian rhythm. This can lead to the body producing lower levels of serotonin, associated with feelings of happiness, and higher levels of melatonin, linked to feelings of depression. It is thought that this disruption of the body's natural rhythm causes Seasonal Affective Disorder.


People with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) may have a deficiency of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that influences mood. Low levels of serotonin can contribute to feelings of depression and other symptoms associated with SAD.


When the body is in darkness, melatonin is created, helping us to drift off to sleep. However, people with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) may have higher levels of melatonin than usual, making it difficult for them to wake up in the morning and disrupting their sleeping.



Irrespective of age or gender, SAD can impact any individual. It is most common in young adults and females. However, anyone can experience the symptoms of this disorder.


If you are experiencing the symptoms of SAD, we recommend that you speak to one of our doctors. They can provide an accurate diagnosis and discuss potential treatments to help you manage your symptoms and improve your well-being.


Our compassionate doctors will listen to you carefully about your symptoms and will ask you questions to determine if you might have SAD or another condition. Being truthful and honest with them is crucial so they can provide you with an accurate diagnosis.


They may inquire about your sleep cycle, emotional state, level of vigour, and any familial and personal medical history.


SAD can cause physical and emotional symptoms lasting for months as the days get shorter and colder. Fortunately, various treatments are available to help manage and reduce the symptoms of SAD. A few of them are:

  • The use of a talking therapy such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

  • Depression medications, such as antidepressants

  • Treatment with light

  • Combining all or some of these


Gathering as much information as possible about how your condition impacts you helps our doctors create a personalised treatment plan for you and your unique symptoms.


Connect with one of our doctors at Mobi Doctor with the click of a button and receive the care you require.