Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Depression Research and Treatment
Volume 2015, Article ID 178564, 6 pages
Review Article

Seasonal Affective Disorder: An Overview of Assessment and Treatment Approaches

Faculty of Health Disciplines, Athabasca University, Athabasca, AB, Canada T9S 3A3

Received 13 September 2015; Revised 1 November 2015; Accepted 10 November 2015

Academic Editor: Axel Steiger

Copyright © 2015 Sherri Melrose. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Seasonal affective disorder or SAD is a recurrent major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern usually beginning in fall and continuing into winter months. A subsyndromal type of SAD, or S-SAD, is commonly known as “winter blues.” Less often, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer. Symptoms center on sad mood and low energy. Those most at risk are female, are younger, live far from the equator, and have family histories of depression, bipolar disorder, or SAD. Screening instruments include the Seasonal Pattern Assessment Questionnaire (SPAQ). Typical treatment includes antidepressant medications, light therapy, Vitamin D, and counselling. This paper provides an overview of SAD.