Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), is characterized by recurrent major depression episodes during the fall-winter months, with remissions during the spring-summer months.
A milder form, called Subsyndromal-SAD (S-SAD), also known as the “Winter Blues,” is a sub-clinical level of SAD that produces similar, but less acute, symptoms.
Onset for SAD typically occurs in your late teens or twenties, and younger adults and women are at higher risk for developing symptoms. Among college students in the northeast, seasonal patterns of depression are especially common: SAD affects about 5-13% of the population while the prevalence rate for S-SAD is approximately 16-20%. Studies at Bates and at other New England institutions confirm that women are more likely than men to suffer from both forms of SAD, as are students who have moved from more southern latitudes.
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