Visit a GP if you have symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Effective treatments are available if you're diagnosed with the condition.
The GP may carry out a psychological assessment to check your mental health. They may ask about:
- your mood
- your lifestyle
- your eating and sleeping patterns
- any seasonal changes in your thoughts and behaviour
- whether your symptoms prevent you from carrying out normal activities
- whether there's anything in your personal or family history that may contribute to a depressive disorder, such as a family history of depression
The GP may also carry out a brief physical examination.
Confirming a diagnosis of SAD
SAD can be difficult to diagnose because there are many other types of depression that have similar symptoms.
It may take some time before you and a GP realise that your symptoms are forming a regular pattern.
A diagnosis of SAD can usually be confirmed if:
- your depression occurs at a similar time each year for at least 2 years
- the periods of depression are followed by periods without depression