Seasonal affective disorder (SAD): Diagnosis
Visit your GP if you have symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Effective treatments are available if you're diagnosed with the condition.
Your 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
- you and your family's mental health history
Your 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.
A diagnosis of SAD can usually be confirmed if:
- your depression occurs at a similar time each year
- periods of depression are followed by periods without depression
- you've had symptoms during the same time of year for 2 or more years in a row