Answers to Common Depression and Anxiety Questions

Premier Health providers answer frequently asked questions about depression and anxiety.

What are the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder?

Dr. Allen discusses symptoms of seasonal affective disorder. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

What are the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder?

The symptoms of seasonal affective disorder can be very similar to a low grade depression, dysphoric mood, sleeping too much, sleeping too little, a change in appetite, a change in activity, a loss of interest in things that a patient would have typically taken interest in. So around here, it is very common to have those hobbies that you have in the summer. Playing golf is a good example. Lot of folks love to play golf. In the winter you can’t play golf. So, you can lose interest in it. They can all be associated with seasonal affective disorder.


Symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can vary from person to person, according to the American Academy of Family PhysiciansOff Site Icon (AAFP).

However, the AAFP has identified some of the most common symptoms of people suffering from winter-onset SAD, which include:

  • anxiety
  • avoidance of social situations
  • change in appetite to crave sweet or starchy foods
  • decrease in energy
  • difficulty concentrating
  • fatigue
  • feeling of guilt
  • feelings of hopelessness
  • irritability
  • loss of interest in enjoyable activities
  • sensitivity to social rejection
  • tendency to oversleep
  • weight gain

People affected by summer-onset SAD, according to the AAFP, often have symptoms including:

  • agitation
  • anxiety
  • insomnia
  • irritability
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss

These symptoms usually return every year as the seasons change for people affected by SAD, according to the AAFP.

Talk to your doctor to learn more about the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder.

Learn more:

Source: Joseph Allen, MD, Family Medicine of Vandalia; Chandan Gupta, MD, Monroe Medical Center; Anessa Alappatt, MD, Fairborn Medical Center; Heather Markwell, MD, Premier Health Family Medicine