View Full Version : A must read Seasonal Affective Disorder

03-30-05, 09:32 AM
Seems that this week we are all feeling the "depressive" effects on our worlds. In having some of these feelings myself I decided to do a little research. Perhaps what I read will help some who are also feeling "the weight of the world" on their shoulders.

Animals react to the changing seasons with changes in mood and behaviour and human beings are no exception. Most people find they eat and sleep slightly more in winter and dislike the dark mornings and short days. For some, however, symptoms are severe enough to disrupt their lives and to cause considerable distress. These people are suffering from SAD.

After reading this I had to find out what the symptoms are.

Symptom 1

Sleep problems - oversleeping but not refreshed, cannot get out of bed, needing a nap in the afternoon.

Symptom 2

Overeating - carbohydrate craving leading to weight gain

Symptom 3

Depression, despair, misery, guilt, anxiety - normal tasks become frustratingly difficult

Symptom 4

Family / social problems - avoiding company, irritability, loss of libido, loss of feeling

Symptom 5

Lethargy - too tired to cope, everything an effort

Symptom 6

Physical symptoms - often joint pain or stomach problems, lowered resistance to infection

Symptom 7

Behavioral problems - especially in young people

The symptoms tend to start from around September each year lasting until April, but are at their worst in the darkest months.

So in other words . Hang in there. The sun will shine and some of the feelings that you have right now will dissipate.

04-01-05, 07:06 AM
Thank you for posting this. I think this disorder is very real. :)

04-01-05, 10:04 AM
I thought with everything going on people might need to be reminded that the sun will shine again. I know with myself I do not make life decisions (unless an emergency) during the winter months. So if anyone is feeling like they dont need to be a member of this forum .... please wait till the sun shines again.

10-22-08, 09:31 PM

This light is so dominant that it doesn't even matter if the sun never shines again! (says for outdoor use only on the thing, but w/e you can litterally feel the heat from this thing like it were the sun!)

10-22-08, 10:33 PM
Yup, I suffer from this. I just "hang in there" as best I can through the winter months and try not to over extend myself and avoid any unnecessary stress because I just can't handle it.
I've considered adding an extra med for this time of year but I'm going to see how it goes a little longer.

I used to dread Fall like nothing else. Scared to death of it all coming back again. It kinda sounds silly but I got really into football a few years ago so now at least now I have something to look forward to in the fall. Too bad it ends before winter does. Lol.

10-24-08, 08:14 AM
By contrast for those with very deep pockets ;

I guess I'll just have to make do with my normal light boxes for now .

11-07-08, 07:05 AM
I get some of these but i get them now? Like especially sleeping, i get to bed at 9 and sleeping by 9:30 i'd say, wake up at 7am and feel like i've stayed up all night.

12-10-08, 04:07 PM
Do they have it in Texas? Michigan is full of SAD's. I know mine does not clear up until March or later.

I don't even want to think of have ADD and SAD distort nad worsen each other.

12-11-08, 05:46 AM
"All of the above" for me. This happens to me every year!
It wasn't so bad when I was in the midwest, there are a lot of bright winter days, even if they're short.
But 3 weeks of clouds in Europe are terrible for me. Now, I can feel it "coming on" - it's acutally like I was being poisoned or something - and I just keep telling myself IT's THE WEATHER. I only had a few bad days this year (but they were really awful). The holiday lights make things better.

08-25-09, 04:14 AM
It's generally seasonal due to the lack of vitamin D, which is generated by our bodies as a reaction to sunlight. This, in turn can lower the bodies ability to absorb vitamins, such as iron, B-12, B-6, and zinc, to name a few. Deficiencies in these can cause symptoms that are like those of depression, anxiety, mania, and schizophrenia in rare cases. (Or at least that's what my shrink says.) ,
I can't gaurentee these are unbiased but there is a link.

08-25-09, 08:02 AM
I too am affected by this. Its something my psychologist brought to my attention 2 years ago. I also feel SAD even after a few days of rainy gloomy weather.

08-25-09, 09:54 AM
Many years ago I went to my doctor to talk about this and was told I was depressed because my birthday is in the fall (November). I've never had a thing about getting older, that was total BS from a medical person who should have had a clue about this very real disorder. I think I may have been in my late 20's or very early 30's at the time, certainly not starting to think I was getting 'old'. Bah humbug.

For the last couple of years I've been listening to Dr. Zorba on public radio and he tries to stay on top of information like this. He says that none of us get enough sunlight/Vitamin D and he suggests that everyone should take a Vit D supplement. I looked for some at the place where I get my Omega 3 and Vit B complex vitamins and couldn't find any. Haven't bothered to go to the grocery store and look yet.

08-25-09, 01:40 PM
You can get vitamin D from milk. I hate milk though. Look for a Vitamin D3 substitute, its better for humans than D2.

10-09-09, 12:52 AM
Is it still seasonal affective disorder if it last all year long in long and short spurts?

03-30-10, 01:52 PM
Thanks for sharing this post. I was first diagnosed with SAD in 1997. If I'm living in the US midwest during the winter time, it's a constant struggle to get things done and feel good about myself. During the summer time, my depressive episodes subside because I tend to get plenty of sunshine and outdoor exercise.

03-30-10, 01:54 PM
It may be considered dysthymia instead of SAD. Look it up on Wikipedia and see how it's different.

11-29-10, 02:34 AM
Besides supplement vitamins, such as iron, B-12, B-6, and zinc as said in a post above this I use lights by Verilux that help. These lights give you almost as much as real sunlight can. THe trick to using them is to put them on light timers like the ones used when your on Vacation to make people think someone is at home.

11-29-10, 10:54 AM
Ah, another OLD thread gets bumped. So I'll update my own situation. I found a place with Vitamin D3 that I can afford and started out taking 800 IU each morning. No help. After a little over a month I bumped it up to 1200 IU (3 soft gels) and have been feeling better and more positive and less depressed. Recommended dose on the bottle is only 400 IU - so it seems that my depression is almost certainly related to low Vitamin D levels, eh?

01-17-11, 07:50 PM
I've been feeling pretty low over the past week or so, and without sounding like I'm panicking or being too negative, I'm wondering if I have this.

I am so desperate for it to be summer, it's not so much the cold weather but the fact that when I wake up it's dark, when I leave the house it's still dark, when I leave college it's dark, when I get home it's dark. I hate it :(
Having said about not minding the cold - I mean, you can deal with it by wrapping up warm etc, wheras you can't avoid the darkness - when I am cold I feel irritable, unsociable and totally de-motivated. And it's the same when waking up in the morning when it's dark, but more so during December/January - the months where it's still dark at 7am, the time I leave for college. When it's dark when I wake up at 5:30 but light, or getting light when I leave, it's not so bad.

But in terms of my mood over the past week, I pretty much have all the symptoms. Not too sure about over-eating - over the past week I seem to have less appetite, and seeing as I'm too thin and trying to gain weight, that is not good and I'm scared about losing weight!
And last night/evening I was really tearful.
I posted in the topic "How is everyone feeling" in Chit Chat, you can read it here:

So yeah, not been feeling good :( To add to that, it's not just college, there are other things that don't interest me at the moment that normally would, my concentration and decision-making are worse than usual. Last night I ended up going to sleep at 5:30am! :eek: I was wide awake and 5:30 is when I get up for college so I had this crazy idea of pulling an all nighter, rather than trying to sleep and getting irritated. I felt pretty tired at about 4:50am so turned the lights out but my mind was racing so much, despite being tired. My alarm went off and I decided I wasn't going in to college, told my mum etc. Slept solid until 1pm. Intended to get up, didn't. Or should I say, couldn't. I was stuck in bed, doing things on my iPhone, wasting time, deep down I didn't want to but I just felt trapped. Eventually I got out of bed at 5pm! :(

I felt better after I showered, but only for a short while.

It's interferring with my life, I guess I should see a doctor...I don't want to miss more college but I just have no motivation for the travelling etc. Like I said in my post in the other topic, I'm enjoying the college work, and if there was a way of doing it at home and only going in for practical lessons and work experience then I would. If your attendance is below something like 95% then you fail! Hopefully mine won't be that bad, but I'm so worried...the principal is a really nice man, so I'd like to think they would make exceptions to the attendance thing. And seeing as I'm normally a good student and getting top marks...

Hmm I just don't know what to do :confused:

11-04-13, 01:27 PM
I get this every Fall/Winter. I have my happy light on almost everyday at work. Got mine by Verilux at Walgreens a few years back for about $40. They have them occasionally at Costco and online at They even have special lamp bulbs, etc. Tanning even helps if you are desperate. B-12, lots of vitamin D, excercise & dreaming of the beach are the only things that get me through sometimes. The holidays make it easier too. Stay positive, everyone.

12-02-14, 03:23 PM
Vitamin D level can be checked via a blood test if your doctor's willing. I was found to be low a few years ago. I'm going to start taking the supplements again because I feel I could use them. Thanks for the info on the B vitamins and zinc too. :goodpost:

03-12-17, 04:26 PM
My experience...

I went to an endocrinologist back in december to see if there was an underlying issue they could help me find that seemed to be making my ADHD symptoms worse.

After labs came back a few things were off, including Vitamin D being low, but the doctor said she didn't think anything needed treatment. I had been mostly home for most of the year due to a back injury/surgery.

I went back to work after getting the lab results back but re-injured my back a month later. For the next two months I stayed home, wasn't going out much at all and wasn't getting any sun. I hardly ever feel sad/down/gloomy/depressed/ in despair and if I do it goes away quickly. This time that feeling was hanging out for weeks.

After a few weeks I remembered my lab results and Vitamin D being low. I figured if it was low it must've been on the floor now because I basically hadn't gone out or gotten any sun for the last two months. I don't drink milk because I'm lactose intolerant. As soon as I made the connection I started taking Vitamin D3 I'd gotten at Costco in the past.

In a days time I could feel it helping me feel better! By day two I felt good and continued taking it daily. Over a week later I now feel "normal" but I'm sure levels are still not optimal.