Advertisement

How is seasonal affective disorder diagnosed?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

The first step in diagnosing seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is an evaluation by a physician or mental health provider that includes questions about your mood, behavior, thoughts, and other symptoms of depression. Following may be a physical exam that includes an evaluation of physical symptoms that may be linked to your depression and a review of your family's medical history. Then a doctor may also call for blood tests if it is believed an underlying condition may be increasing your depression symptoms. Since SAD is a type of depression, it must meet certain criteria to specifically be diagnosed as seasonal affective disorder. These criteria are depression in two consecutive years at the same time each year, periods of depression followed by periods without depression and there are no other explanations of the changes in behavior.

Continue Learning about Seasonal Affective Disorder

Coping with Seasonal Affective Disorder: 4 Treatments That Help
Coping with Seasonal Affective Disorder: 4 Treatments That Help
While the cooler temperatures and shorter days of fall and winter mean relief from summer heat and sun, they can, for some people, bring changes in mo...
Read More
Seasonal Depression in Teens: Is It the Winter Blues or Something More Serious?
Seasonal Depression in Teens: Is It the Winter Blues or Something More Serious?
The winter holidays are a joyous time for many teens: they’re out of school and opportunities to celebrate and spend time with friends and loved ones ...
Read More
What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?
What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?
Is Vitamin D Associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Is Vitamin D Associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.