The ongoing coronavirus pandemic may characteristically complicate matters further for those who typically experience SAD. Social distancing measures combined with fear of the virus may intensify symptoms. “A person’s episode of Seasonal Affective Disorder might be worse for this time period because you cannot be outside as long or as freely as you are used to,” says Yvonne Thomas, Ph.D., an LA-based psychologist. “People are already feeling sensitive and fragile more so than normal.”
Those who experience SAD may see symptoms in the form of depressive thoughts, decreased energy, increased agitation, a change in appetite, or distorted sleeping patterns. While anticipating the onset of these symptoms may be overwhelming, the best thing to do to stave off SAD is to prepare for it. “Be preventative. We don’t want to do damage control, especially if you know you are prone to having Seasonal Affective Disorder,” says Thomas.