woman with seasonal depression

Why does winter affect my mood?

person feeling sad during winter

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The winter blues are usually mild and short-term, lasting for as a little as a few weeks or sporadically.

If the symptoms worsen – resulting in a severe disruption to your life, responsibilities, and relationships – there may be a chance it’s developed into Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

SAD can happen when the seasons change, most notably from autumn into winter. It is considered a sub-type of depression, with similarities between the two conditions.

The main difference is that these symptoms are limited to a similar time each year over a period of years.

Is it the same as winter depression and sadness?

The key difference is length, severity, and level of disruption to your life.

Winter blues are a mild form of seasonal unrest, whereas Seasonal Affective Disorder – also known as winter sadness or depression – is an elevated form of the winter blues.

Some people may also use the different names interchangeably to describe their low moods, which may make diagnosis trickier.