Acronyms dictionary


What does SAD mean?

SAD is an acronym for seasonal affective disorder, a disorder often classified as a form of depression that is typically most severe during the fall and winter months. It is sometimes formally or alternatively called major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern.

Symptoms associated with SAD are often similar to those of depression, including intense sadness, loss of interest in pleasurable activities, and abnormal eating and sleeping behavior. A person with SAD usually experiences symptoms during the winter and/or periods of reduced sunlight. SAD is more common in people living far from the equator and has been connected to abnormal brain functioning due to short days and lack of sunlight. 

Symptoms often lessen or disappear entirely with the arrival of spring. Treatments for SAD may include medication or specific types of therapy, such as light therapy

Examples of SAD

Because SAD is a form of depression, it causes the typical symptoms of the disorder. No matter when your SAD starts, you may feel tired, low on energy, restless, unable to focus, or as if you are moving in slow motion.
Dr. Wayne Jonas, Psychology Today, February 1, 2022
After the age of 50, the risk of SAD starts to decline. Researchers aren’t yet sure why.
The reduced level of sunlight in fall and winter may cause winter-onset SAD.

Who uses SAD?

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This is not meant to be a formal definition of SAD like most terms we define on, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of SAD that will help our users expand their word mastery.