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Current Year Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health

Seasonal depression, winter blues and seasonal affective disorder: CAMH expert available for interview

December 18, 2012 - Many people begin to experience symptoms of seasonal mood changes as daylight hours get shorter - usually in late fall and early winter. Most common is the winter blues, a feeling of less positivity in the winter months, which dissipates when the winter season is over. The most severe of seasonal mood change is seasonal affective disorder or SAD, which is characterized by feelings of hopelessness, lethargy and oversleeping and increases in appetite and weight gain. SAD affects more women than men: up to 80 per cent of those affected by SAD are female.

A range of treatments are available for SAD, from light therapy to natural supplements and cognitive behavioural therapy. Use of antidepressants is also highly effective when necessary.

Dr. Robert Levitan, Research Head in CAMH’s Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program, explains the prevalence of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) among Canadians and offers tips on the best ways to treat symptoms from depression to the winter blues.


The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, as well as one of the world's leading research centres in its field. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental health and addiction issues. CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. For more information, please visit

For more information or to schedule an interview contact: Michael Torres, CAMH Media Relations, 416-595-6015 or 

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