Patient Comments: Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) - Symptoms

Question:What symptoms did you experience with your seasonal affective disorder (SAD)?

Comment from: Amanda, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 14

I am 35 and have SAD (seasonal affective disorder). My mom and grandma both have depression. I spend most weekends in the winter in my bed. All I want to do is sleep and eat carbs. I'm sad most of the time and very irritable. I'm on Celexa and it seems to help. I'm very fortunate that my husband picks up, does housework, and is a dad and mom to our children during these winter months. I work outside the home and hate getting up in the morning.

Comment from: Ant, 13-18 (Patient) Published: January 20

My SAD first started in late September with mild anxiety. In early October, this escalated into what felt like a panic attack in the night. This left me nervous for weeks and with very high anxiety levels. This anxiety continued in waves making me quite depressed and caused withdraw from friends. Around Christmas I began to get aches in my lower back, back of my neck and mild headaches. I also developed an extreme lack of appetite. During this time I had crying spells, fatigue and a constant background feeling of anxiety and fear for no apparent reason. My sex drive and emotions were very low. Getting up in the morning was very difficult. Going to work however often made me feel a lot better, keeping my mind busy. Weekends, particularly Sunday evenings feel worst, when my mind is allowed to dwell on feeling SAD.

Comment from: Susolov, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 02

Ever since I was a child, I have had SAD in the fall, but I didn't know what it was until several years ago. Every September and October, I feel lethargic, weepy, irritable, and hungry (maybe that has to do with all the goodies around during the "Eating Season." The symptoms are triggered when I go outside and the sun is hot, but the air is cool. Additional Sun does not help me, it makes me feel worse. Additional light is so annoying. People ARGUE with me that it's not SAD if all the symptoms don't occur. This is also very ANNOYING. My advice to people who want to give advice to someone with SAD is to keep it to themselves. It only makes matters worse--especially irritability. I take Vitamin D3 and other supplements regularly.

Comment from: Scorpio12, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 20

I'm 26 and just realized that I have SAD. Last year I was feeling the same symptoms but didn't pay any mind to it. Now I find myself always hungry and buy a lot of carbohydrates at the grocery store. Every time I step foot outside I feel so nauseous and tired. I over sleep in the winter, but once spring or summer hit I wake up early and sometimes feel refreshed. I look so forward to spring and daylight savings. I just came to the conclusion that I HATE WINTER!

Comment from: Angela, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 23

I have been on one of the following drugs for depression for almost 30 years: Prozac, Zoloft or Paxil. It seems to hit almost everyone in my family after age 20 to 25. I grew up in Florida and moved to Arkansas. Right away, I had the SAD symptoms even though I did not know what it was. Now at the end of August, every year, I start a regimen of vitamin D 5000 IU for a few weeks and move down to 2000 IU maybe, depending on my moods. I do not usually take vitamin D in the summer time because I spend a lot of time outside. As I grow older and may not spend as much time outside, I will probably need to be on vitamin D all the time.

Comment from: Red Rose, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 05

As early as the beginning of October I begin to feel down and tired. I was not aware of SAD until one of my bosses pointed out to me. He mentioned that towards fall season I was not as productive and cheerful. I try my best to naturally treat SAD by sitting out in the sun for a while, exercising and remaining active with family and friends. But I have taken Wellbutrin in the past. Medication do help so do not deny yourself help with medication if need be.

Comment from: Chakita, 45-54 Female Published: March 11

My sisters and I suffer from SAD. We feel as if our bodies don't belong here. It's like placing a Chihuahua up north or a Husky in Mexico. They're out of their environment. If certain breeds of animals are only found in some climates, maybe it could be the same with humans? I was born in Sao Miguel, and my sister's friend came from Barbados. I have a hard time with cold weather, so I lock myself up all winter with blankets. I have a hard time functioning. Lights don't help, nor vitamin D. The vitamin D helps a little with energy.

Comment from: 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 12

I've had recurring seasonal affective disorder (SAD) for 15 years. Some years barely noticeable, some years quite severe. Light therapy has been effective up to this year - a change of jobs where I no longer face a sunny window may be a factor. My symptoms include waking up in a panic before my alarm goes off, loss of self confidence, inability to make decisions and face my to-do list, fatigue during the day, general despair and amplification of negative emotions. I also seem to binge eat late at night despite a determination to diet.

Comment from: sunflowerbc, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 24

I've never been a depressed person but this winter has found me depressed. Everything makes me sad with bouts of tears for no reason. I feel very emotional. I am so irritable and fly off the handle easily. I don't even want to look outside. My life feels like I have no purpose and I feel fatigue. I toss and turn all night long and never get a full nights rest. I have weight gain and hate the world these days. I find no more fun in anything and I don't even like the things I used to. I am hoping it's the grim weather and the summer sun and long days cures this!



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