How to Tell If Winter Blues Are Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, makes people depressed in the winter.

— -- It's that time of year again. The holidays are long over, the frigid weather seems endless, and it's hard to remember the last time we left work before sunset. Grumble.

"It affects anywhere from 5 to 10 percent of the population," Taravella said of the disorder.

But by springtime, the symptoms disappear, he said.

Taravella said more and more people seem to realize they have more than just post-holiday blues in the winter months, and there's good news: it's treatable.

SAD is more prevalent in the northern hemisphere, where it gets colder during the winter, Taravella said. It's also more common among women, and more common among people in their 20s and 30s, he said.

"Your calendar forces you got get out," he said. "Because when you start feeling this way, you can become more of a hermit."

If you think you may have SAD, Taravella said the winter months are a good time to talk to your primary care physician, who will determine whether you have depression or SAD.