The diagnosis of SAD is based primarily on:

  • A self-reported patient history

  • A careful assessment of atypical mood symptoms

  • A period of at least 2 years of reliable seasonal mood changes.

Obtaining collateral information from family members or friends may provide additional information for establishing temporal mood changes and the degree of impairment. Objective findings, based on physical examination and laboratory testing, tend to be within normal limits.[15] However, certain medical, substance-use, and other psychiatric conditions associated with mood changes, sleep disruptions, and fatigue should be ruled out.

BMJ Best Practice is an evidence-based point of care tool for healthcare practitioners.

To continue reading and access all of BMJ Best Practice's pages you'll need to log in or start a free trial.

You can access through your institution if your hospital, university, trust or other institution provides access to BMJ Best Practice through either OpenAthens or Shibboleth.

Use of this content is subject to our disclaimer