If you’re like most people, you don’t feel or function as well in the winter months as you do the rest of the year. But how seasonal are you?
Here’s a pop quiz:
To what degree does your behavior, physical condition, or disposition change with the arrival of winter? On the following list for each item, score zero for no change, I for slight change, 2 for moderate change, 3 for marked change, or 4 for extremely marked change.
A. Sleep length
B. Social activity
C. Mood (well-being)
F. Energy level
If your total score is 7 or less, don’t sweat it. If it’s from 8 to 11, you may suffer from a mild case of the winter blues.
• Spend more time outdoors.
• Add more light to your home and office.
• Get a light box.
If your score is 12 or above, your seasonality is interfering with your everyday life enough to warrant a visit to a physician, psychiatrist or psychologist for a diagnosis and discussion of treatment options.
Another sign you have SAD is that negative changes in your physical and/or mental condition:
• Occur in the winter substantially more than during other times of the year.
• Have occurred for at least two consecutive winters.
• Worsen on overcast days.
• Subside in the spring and summer.
• Cannot be explained by other factors, like job or relationship stress.
This questionnaire is intended to detect mood and behavior patterns associated with seasonal affective disorder. Remember, this is not a substitute for a visit with a qualified health professional.
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