Seasonal Affective Disorder

Mental Health & Wellness Clinics located in Aurora, Louisville and Westminster, CO

Seasonal Affective Disorder

About Seasonal Affective Disorder

If you feel blue during the colder winter months or other specific times of the year, you might be suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This condition affects about 5% of adults in the United States and typically lasts 40% of the year. At Axis Integrated Mental Health in Louisville and Aurora, Colorado, the skilled mental health team diagnoses and treats SAD to help you rediscover joy. Schedule an in-person or telehealth evaluation by phone or online today.

Seasonal Affective Disorder Q&A

What is seasonal affective disorder?

Seasonal affective disorder, also referred to as SAD, is a form of depression that generally appears during colder winter months. It often develops during the fall and lingers through winter because of less sunlight and shorter days, but subsides in the spring or summer months. However, some people develop SAD during the summer or spring.

Treating SAD with the help of the Axis Integrated Mental Health team can improve your mood all year round, optimizing your quality of life and ability to thrive. 

What are the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder?

The symptoms associated with SAD include:

  • Sadness during certain times of the year
  • Fatigue
  • Extreme depression
  • Loss of interest in once favorite things
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling guilty, hopeless, or worthless

SAD symptoms typically last about four or five months throughout the year.

What are the risk factors for seasonal affective disorder?

While the cause of SAD isn’t always clear, its risk factors include:

  • Family history of SAD
  • Living in colder-weather or cloudy regions
  • Other depressive disorders
  • Low levels of vitamin D

Living in a sunny or warm-weather climate reduces the risk of SAD, though people in these regions may still experience seasonal affective disorder. 

How is seasonal affective disorder diagnosed?

The Axis Integrated Mental Health specialists diagnose SAD after a discussion about your symptoms, a review of your medical history, and a physical exam if needed. They complete a psychiatric evaluation by addressing your medications, lifestyle, moods, emotions, behaviors, and thoughts. 

How is seasonal affective disorder treated?

Treating SAD at Axis Integrated Mental Health may involve one or more of the following treatments:

  • Integrative psychiatry
  • Light therapy
  • Talk therapy (psychotherapy)
  • Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy 
  • Medication management
  • Spending time outdoors
  • Vitamin D supplements
  • Ketamine infusions
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
  • Nutritional psychiatry
  • Lifestyle coaching
  • Acupuncture and other alternative treatments 

Axis Integrated Mental Health is the only clinic in Colorado providing TMS treatment to Medicaid patients. The team also helps reduce patient costs by calling insurance companies on their behalf. You can meet with the Axis Integrated Mental Health team for therapy in-person or virtually from the comfort of your office or home.

Schedule an in-person or telehealth evaluation at Axis Integrated Mental Health by phone or request one online today if you struggle with seasonal affective disorder.