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Media Advisory: With Fewer Daylight Hours, Time Change and Colder Weather Coming, New APA Polling; Experts Available on Seasonal Affective Disorder

  • October 25, 2023

What is SAD?

Seasonal affective disorder is a form of depression also known as SAD, seasonal depression or winter depression. The symptoms usually occur during the fall and winter months when there is less sunlight and usually improve with the arrival of spring. While it is much less common, some people experience SAD in the summer. The symptoms can be distressing and overwhelming and can interfere with daily functioning. However, it can be treated. About 5 percent of adults in the U.S. experience SAD and it typically lasts about 40 percent of the year.

What's New?

According to a new poll from APA fielded between September 23-24, 2023 among a sample of 2,227 adults:

  • One in five (22%) say the daylight savings time change has impacted their mental health negatively in years past.
  • Women (29%) are nearly twice as likely as men (16%) to say the time change in the fall has negatively affected their mental health.
  • Adults living in rural areas (28%) are also especially likely to say the time change has negatively affected their mental health in the past.
  • Two-thirds (67%) of adults say they notice at least one behavioral change when the season changes to winter, such as sleeping more (31%), feeling fatigued (25%), or feeling depressed (23%).


APA experts can address these findings and seasonal affective disorder:

  • APA President Petros Levounis, M.D., M.A.
  • APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A.


For interviews, email [email protected] or call 202-609-7113.

American Psychiatric Association

The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 38,000 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information, please visit

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