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Are You Getting SAD?

We’ve had clouds and rain for the last few days in New Mexico; an unusual occurrence in the land of sunshine (more than 300 days a year). But with the rain came lower temperatures and the quick change to fall. Here in Corrales, we look forward to the harvest festival, roasting green chili, and in early October the Balloon Fiesta. At this time of year temperatures can go from the 80’s in the day to the 40’s at night. It’s a great time of year.
For those with Seasonal Affective Disorder, a form of depression that comes during the darker days of winter, now is the time to make plans. Like the animals that begin to prepare for a season with less food, people with SAD can benefit by making preparations for the winter season. Activities that help people with SAD include more light (especially natural light), social support, and exercise.

  • First, think about some activities that you might enjoy outside this winter. If it is a sport, consider taking a class or joining a group so that you can combine going outside with socializing.
  • People with SAD tend to hibernate in the winter. Try to arrange some activities to do during the winter months in the early evenings.
  • Find an exercise routine that you enjoy. Again try to make this a social time as well.
  • Weight gain is also common in the winter for people with SAD. If you struggle with weight consider a support group to get you through the dark times.

If you have had severe problems with SAD, we suggest that you discuss this with your medical provider or a mental health professional experienced with this particular problem. Some people take a certain antidepressant as prevention for SAD. If you want more information about SAD, we have a great book (you can buy it new or used on Amazon) Seasonal Affective Disorder For Dummies.

Are You Getting SAD?

Laura L. Smith, Ph.D.

Laura L. Smith, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist who specializes in the assessment and treatment of adults and children with obsessive compulsive disorder, as well as personality disorders, depression, anxiety, ADHD, and learning disorders. Dr. Smith is a widely published author of articles and books to the profession and the public, including: Overcoming Anxiety For Dummies (2E), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder For Dummies, Seasonal Affective Disorder For Dummies, Anxiety and Depression Workbook For Dummies, Depression For Dummies, Hollow Kids: Recapturing the Soul of a Generation Lost to the Self-Esteem Myth, and Why Can’t I Be the Parent I Want to Be? Her website is:

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APA Reference
Smith, L. (2009). Are You Getting SAD?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 25, 2018, from


Last updated: 18 Sep 2009
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 18 Sep 2009
Published on All rights reserved.