In northern latitudes such as Portland, seasonal changes in mood can impact about 20% of people during the gray winter months. In its less severe form, we call this the Winter Blues. When it becomes real problem for people, they may have what’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD for short.
SAD shares a lot of the same characteristics with non-seasonal depression. Some of the defining characteristics of SAD—aside from the seasonal course—are tendencies towards increased sleep and cravings for sweets and carbohydrates.
At Portland Psychotherapy, we’ve written and presented quite extensively on SAD and the Winter Blues:
- Our psychologist Brian Thompson has written a blog post about SAD and treatment in a national mental health blog.
- Our clinic director Jason Luoma has a three-part video-based presentation on SAD (part 1, part 2, part 3), and he’s written a blog post about choosing a proper light box for light box therapy, the treatment of choice for the Winter Blues.
- You can even download a two-page handout on SAD from our Depression Treatment Program information web page devoted to SAD.
Feel free to check out these resources. Still have questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact us.