What is Seasonal Pattern Depression?

Major Depressive Disorder with a Seasonal pattern is characterized by episodes of depression that recur each year in the late fall and winter, alternating with periods of normal mood the remainder of the year.

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How prevalent is Seasonal Pattern Depression?

Younger people are at a higher risk of developing Seasonal Pattern Depression, as well as people that live in higher latitudes. Additionally, women are more likely than men to develop Seasonal Pattern Depression.

What are the symptoms associated?

  • Oversleeping
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Overeating
  • Weight gain
  • Craving carbohydrates
  • Decreased sexual interest
  • Lethargy
  • Hopelessness
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Lack of interest in usual activities and decreased socialization

What criteria is necessary for diagnosis?

The pattern of symptoms beginning in winter and subsiding in spring must occur for at least a two year period for a diagnosis of Seasonal Pattern Depression.

How can I plan ahead for my Seasonal Pattern Depression?

If you know you have Seasonal Pattern Depression, try to prepare for it before it arrives. Examples include exercising more around the last part of the summer season, begin going to therapy in September, plan a vacation to a sunny place in January.

Additional Resources

Video – How to know if you have Seasonal Affective Disorder

5 Tips on how to manage Seasonal Affective Disorder