Seasonal Depression, also known as Winter Blues: Is it Just Depression?

Friday, April 21, 2023

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression also known as seasonal depression or winter depression.


People with SAD experience mood changes and symptoms similar to depression. The symptoms usually occur during the colder months when there is less sunlight. However, some people do experience SAD in the summer. The symptoms can interfere with daily functioning, similar to depression if not effectively treated. It simply is a form of depression.

About 5 percent of adults in the United States experience SAD, affecting more women than men, and it typically lasts about 40 percent of the year. Someone can be diagnosed with SAD at any age, but it typically starts between 18 and 30 years of age.

Symptoms of SAD include:

  • fatigue
  • weight gain 
  • feeling sad 
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Feeling worthless or guilty
  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions

Treatment for SAD includes 2 different therapy techniques:

Light Therapy

This particular therapy involves sitting in front of a light therapy box that emits a very bright light that filters out harmful ultraviolet rays. Clients use the like at least 20 minutes or more per day, typically in the morning, during the winter months. Most people see improvements from this therapy within one or two weeks of beginning treatment. To maintain the benefits, treatment is usually continued through the winter months.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a form of psychological treatment that has been significantly researched and effective. It is based on three core principles:

  • Psychological problems are based on faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking
  • Psychological problems are based on learned patterns of unhelpful behavior
  • People suffering from psychological problems can learn better ways of coping with them

CBT can thereby relieve symptoms of SAD and help clients become more effective in their lives. For those who don’t want to try therapy first, time outside with increased exposure to sunlight can help improve symptoms as well. Additionally, having a space in your home or office that has an exposed window during the day can be helpful. Lastly, regular exercise, healthy eating, and getting enough sleep can also help. 

If you have SAD symptoms and would like someone to talk to, please reach out to our compassionate team which includes Leslie Holley, a celebrated, nationally-certified Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.

About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 25 years, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services has been providing a ministry of care to Baltimore’s African American community. As a leading local, minority- and family-owned provider, we promise to provide our highest level of service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. For more information about our funeral, cremation, memorial, repast, and grief counseling services, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at


Leave a comment
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.


Please wait

Previous Posts

Your Guide to Understanding Cremation: Seven Fascinating Myths and the Truth Behind Them

Understanding cremation reveals countless misconceptions about the ancient practice. Cremation has been around for centuries but it remains surrounded by mystery. You might be surprised to know th...

Reflecting on Black History Month, The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion

During Black History Month, we celebrate African Americans and the role they have played in building this country, as well as recognize their achievements. Diversity and inclusion are essential in...

Need an Alternative to Traditional Funeral Flowers? Here are Eight Smart Options.

Eco-friendly alternatives to traditional funeral flowers have emerged as a growing trend in end-of-life services. As more people become conscious of their environmental impact, they are seeking wa...

Winter Heart Attacks: Why They’re More Common and How to Avoid Them

The colder months bring more than just frosty weather—they also bring a greater chance of winter heart attacks. The winter season is usually associated with cozy blankets, warm fires, and snowy ou...

Condolence Messages: How to Find the Right Words at a Difficult Time

It’s very common to have a hard time finding the right words when composing condolence messages. Whether you are posting to an online sympathy board or sending your condolences by mail, knowing wh...

Looking to Celebrate Martin Luther King Day 2024? Here Are Five Inspiring Ideas.

Martin Luther King Day is an annual celebration of Dr. King’s immeasurable contributions. Celebrated in the United States on the third Monday of January, the holiday is a time when the nation paus...

New Year, New You: How To Work On You This Year

Every year, millions of Americans set goals to be better.  For some, that means working out more and eating vegetables.  For others, that means reading more and watching less television....

Six Unexpected Causes of Pneumonia: Are You at Risk?

From unusual sources to overlooked factors, the causes of pneumonia are more surprising and wide-ranging than you might imagine. Pneumonia, a common yet potentially serious respiratory infection, ...

Here’s Why Funeral and Estate Planning Should Be Among Your New Year’s Resolutions

The decisions we make in funeral and estate planning shape our legacy of love and deliver unparalleled peace of mind. New Year’s resolutions are the things we vow to do to better ourselves in the ...

Celebrate the Spirit of Your Loved One with Personalized Holiday Memorials

Personalized holiday memorials create a special space for remembrance during the festive season. As the holidays unfold, our thoughts naturally turn to the loved ones who, though absent, remain ev...