Approach

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.

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