Why do people get depressed during the winter? Odds are you haven’t heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a type of depression that is associated with the change in seasons. The most common type of SAD, winter onset, usually begins with the long nights and short days of nature's coldest season. Some have referred to it as the “winter blues.” It occurs about the same time every year and may be related to changes in the amount of daylight a person is exposed to. 

Why should we talk about it now

Although typically associated with winter, some people are affected at other times of the year as well. However, summer SAD is not as common as the winter version. People who experience either summer or winter SAD can experience the full range of symptoms, which includes sad or anxious feelings, fatigue, loss of interest in activities, difficulty sleeping, or oversleeping. 

Help is available

Do not dismiss that yearly feeling as simply a case of the "winter blues" or a “seasonal summer funk” that you have to tough out on your own. Take steps to keep your mood and motivation steady throughout the year. For more information or help for SAD contact your local installation Community Counseling Center or call the DSTRESS Line to speak to someone anonymously.