Do you ask yourself, “Do I have a seasonal affective disorder?” every winter? Take this DSM-5 quiz to find out if you have the winter blues.
What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Formerly known as a seasonal affective disorder, depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern is basically major depression that worsens at the same time each year, often in autumn and winter. In other words, it specifies MDEs that occur in specific seasons.
|SAD||Seasonal major depressive disorder.|
|BPD||Inability to regulate emotions.|
|MDE||Pervasive low mood and anhedonia.|
The theory is that a change in serotonin, the hormone that regulates mood, and melatonin, which regulates sleep, causes the seasonal affective disorder.
The lack of sunlight during the winter—especially in higher altitudes—complicates the production of serotonin and melatonin, affecting your energy level, sleep or chronotype, and mood.
Other possible causes are childhood trauma, genetics, and socioeconomic reasons.
The most common symptoms of SAD are oversleeping, irritability, low energy, weight gain, appetite change, and hypersensitivity during a particular time of year.
Find Out if You Have It with a SAD Test
If you want to know whether you have a seasonal affective disorder, take this 20-question psychological quiz to assess your symptoms. The current test is designed based on the DSM-5 guidelines and determines if you have SAD based on your self-report.
Different Types of Seasonal Affective Disorder You Might Have
SAD is an umbrella term for any Major Depressive Episode (MED) that happens in warm seasons (spring and summer) as well as cold seasons (autumn and winter). However, studies show that people going through SAD in summer have different symptoms than those who experience the disorder in winter.
According to Dr. Todd Grande, a seasonal affective disorder in winter exhibits the following symptoms: low energy, overeating, weight gain, hypersomnia, and carbohydrate craving.
However, the same disorder in summer is distinguishable through lack of appetite, weight loss, anxiety, and insomnia.
It Could be a Bipolar Disorder
Understandably, your temporal mood swings have made you ask questions like, “Do I have a seasonal affective disorder?” But the thing is that that’s not the only possibility: You could be struggling with other seasonal disorders like BPD and bipolar personality disorder.
As doctor Grande points out, “seasonal” is a specifier for personality disorders such as major depression and bipolar.
3 Sigs that the Seasonal Affective Disorder Test Looks for
Because SAD is not a distinct disorder, diagnosing it is challenging. However, the test identifies the following signs to deliver accurate results.
#1. Temporal relationship between seasons and MDEs.
As the name suggests, the seasonal affective disorder should have distinctive connections to specific periods. So, the test tries to figure out whether your sadness and moodiness worsen during any of the four seasons.
#2. Seasonal remissions.
Most people with the winter blues experience a full recovery during other parts of the year. For example, one with depression in autumn might feel entirely energetic during summer. So, that’s another indicator of the SAD test.
#3. Seasonal and non-seasonal MDE ratio.
You should have more temporal major depressive episodes than non-temporal ones. So, if you’re moody and depressed throughout the year, it’s unlikely you have a seasonal affective disorder.
SAD? Take the Quiz to Discover Why
Do you still wonder if you have a seasonal affective disorder? If yes, take the following psychology quiz and evaluate your mood. The test can identify if it’s SAD, BPD, MDE, or another disorder.
QuizExpo is not associated with any of the names/organizations mentioned in the Seasonal Affective Disorder Test.
Please, do not replace the quiz with a clinical diagnosis and avoid self-diagnosis or self-prescription based on the results.
How to Play?
Playing personality quizzes is straightforward: Choose the option that’s true about you—or you relate to—and select “Next.” Unlike trivia quizzes, personality tests have no right or wrong answers. But the questions are in forced-choice format. The point is to push you to choose an option that makes the most sense, not the one that’s 100% true. For the most accurate results, don’t overthink your responses. Go with options that you “feel” are the best.
Questions of the quiz
- Question 1
How would you describe your energy in different seasons?
My energy level doesn't change with the seasons.
I'm less energetic during summer.
I'm less energetic in winter.
It's unpredictable, and my energy changes constantly.
I'm unenergetic throughout the year.
- Question 2
Would you say you're likely to gain or lose weight during specific periods?
I lose weight in summer/spring.
I gain weight in winter/fall.
I randomly lose/gain weight.
I'm constantly losing/gaining weight.
- Question 3
Which one is similar to your sleep pattern in summer and winter?
My sleep pattern doesn't change with the seasons.
I'm an insomniac during summer.
I oversleep in winter.
My sleep pattern constantly changes.
I'm an insomniac throughout the year.
- Question 4
What kind of foods do you crave when you're moody and down?
I don't crave any specific food.
Sweets and junk foods
Fast foods and carbohydrates.
IDK. My appetite becomes unpredictable.
I lose my appetite completely.
- Question 5
How do season changes affect your appetite?
They don't affect it at all.
I struggle with a lack of appetite.
I crave more food and overeat.
It depends. I can't predict it.
I either avoid eating or eat too much.
- Question 6
Are you most productive during winter or summer?
It constantly changes.
- Question 7
What do you do when you feel anxious and depressed?
I talk to a loved one
I avoid sleeping or drink
I oversleep and eat
I don't do anything specific because I'm used to it.
I lock myself in my room and avoid others.
- Question 8
When are you least energetic?
I'm not sure.
All day long.
- Question 9
How much sleep do you get per day?
Less than 7 hours in summer
More than 7 hours in winter
It constantly changes.
Less than 7 hours every day.
- Question 10
Do you become hypersensitive when your mood is down?
I don't think so.
Yes, but only in warm seasons
Yes, but only in cold seasons
I'm always sensitive.
No, I'm numb to negativity.
- Question 11
How long have you been dealing with mood swings?
I don't think I've been struggling at all.
It's been less than a year.
It's been about two years.
It's been three years or more.
For as long as I remember.
- Question 12
Which of the following happenings triggers your depression?
None of them
All of them
- Question 13
What kind of weather triggers your depression?
Weather doesn't trigger my depression.
Sunny or hot
Rainy, snowy, or cold.
All of them.
None of them. I'm constantly depressed.
- Question 14
How does your moodiness affect your daily life?
It doesn't affect my life.
It has isolated me.
It has caused me to become overweight.
It has affected my romantic relationship negatively.
All of them.
- Question 15
In which season are you more irritable?
My irritability is not caused by seasons.
Summer or spring
Fall or winter
All four seasons.
None of them. I'm usually numb.
- Question 16
Which of these negative emotions do you often have?
Apathy (lack of interest)
- Question 17
In which season do you tend to stay home and avoid socializing?
I socialize throughout the year and never avoid it.
It becomes more likely in spring and summer.
I think it's more common in winter and fall.
- Question 18
Do you have a seasonal job that could affect your mood?
Yes, I don't work during summer or spring.
Yes, I don't work during winter or fall.
No, but I'm still moody most of the time.
I don't have a job at all.
- Question 19
On a scale of 0 to 5, how easy is it for you to have fun and enjoy the day? (5 means it's quite easy).
- Question 20
Final question; how old are you?
35 or older
16 or younger
I'd rather not say