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Is Anxiety a Symptom of Seasonal Affective Disorder?

by Erik Steel
  • Overview

    Anxiety is one of the symptoms that affects individuals suffering from both fall/winter and spring/summer seasonal affective disorders, commonly known as SAD. However, because it is just one of the symptoms of SAD, further evaluation is necessary to make a diagnosis.
  • Other Symptoms: Fall/Winter

    Anxiety appears alongside other symptoms in fall/winter SAD. These symptoms can include depression, hopelessness, a decrease in energy, withdrawing from social situations, lacking interest in activities, sleeping too much, changes in appetite, gaining weight and trouble concentrating. (Reference 1)
  • Other Symptoms: Spring/Summer

    Other symptoms of spring and summer SAD include insomnia, being easily irritated or agitated, losing weight, lack of appetite, and increased sexual desire.
  • Significance

    Anxiety is a long-lasting condition, and it can become worse if affected individuals are not treated. (Reference 2)
  • Treatment

    A number of different methods are used to treat the symptoms of SAD. The commonly include light therapy, using light boxes to mimic natural light, antidepressants and psychotherapy.
  • Considerations

    People who believe they are suffering from SAD should share all of their symptoms, including anxiety, with their physician or mental-health care professional to make sure that these symptoms can be managed.

    References & Resources