Symptoms that are common in fall and winter seasonal affective disorder include hypersomnia2. Hypersomnia occurs when a person oversleeps during daylight hours. A person with SAD that occurs in the winter may experience trouble staying awake.
Usually, a person with hypersomnia also has low energy and unclear thoughts.
Cravings for carbohydrates are also common symptoms of seasonal affective disorder. Carbs give the body a form of instant energy, so when the overall system feels taxed the body craves them. Carbs also stimulate “feel-good” hormones, anther reason why they get craved during depression5.
Weight gain is a side effect of the combination of carbohydrate cravings and lack of energy. The body stores unused carbohydrate energy as fat to use at a later time.
Seasonal depression causes a person to feel lethargic. This may cause them to neglect their physical exercise often. Eating sweet foods, sleeping more, and not exercising can make depression symptoms worse.
Feeling lethargic also causes withdrawal from social settings. This is a circular effect. As people become more isolated they often feel more depressed.