winter depression test -man sitting at the window near christmas tree

The test (questionnaire) below is designed to test whether there is a seasonal pattern for depression, more specifically winter depression. It is a test designed by Prof. Dr. Norman Rosenthal, a well-known expert and researcher in winter depression.

What is winter depression?

Winter depression is a subtype of major depression. In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the fifth edition (DSM-5), the seasonal affective disorder is identified as the major recurrent depressive disorder with seasonal pattern.

This means that this type of major depression occurs repetitively in the cold season, every year, generally in autumn-winter. Seasonal depression or winter depression occurs at the transition from autumn to winter with remission in spring.

The symptoms of winter depression are similar to the major depressive disorder, with a few special features. People who have a seasonal pattern for depression can crave carbohydrates (or something sweet, donuts, chips, bread, pasta, chocolate, ice cream and more), eating excessively which results in weight gain, lack of energy and prolonged sleep.

There is a milder form of winter depression, winter blues, in which the symptoms are not so severe. The affected person is able to function up to the usual level. This is not major depression, but rather similar to melancholia (winter blues).

Read more about winter depression or seasonal affective disorder.

Do you want to know if there is a winter pattern in the fluctuation mood and behavior? Take the winter depression test below.

Continuing with the test means that you have read and accepted the terms and conditions of use of this online psychological test.

The instructions for this winter depression questionnaire are simple:

The test has 3 main questions aimed to highlight the winter pattern for depression.

You need a pen and a sheet of paper to write the answers to the questions below.


This test is used by visitors for informational purposes. This test for winter depression has no diagnostic or self-diagnostic value, and does not replace the consultation of a doctor, psychotherapist, clinical psychologist or psychiatrist!

The purpose of this questionnaire is to identify how your emotional state and your behavior change over time. It is important that your answers reflect your personal experience, and not what you have observed in other people.

1. In the following questions, circle all applicable months. This may be a single month, a cluster of months, or any other grouping.

At what time of year do you…

A. You feel best

(Jan / Feb / Mar / Apr / May / Jun / Jul / Aug / Sept / Oct / Nov / Dec / In no particular month)

B. You tend to gain most weight

(Jan / Feb / Mar / Apr / May / Jun / Jul / Aug / Sept / Oct / Nov / Dec / In no particular month)

C. You socialize most

(Jan / Feb / Mar / Apr / May / Jun / Jul / Aug / Sept / Oct / Nov / Dec / In no particular month)

D. Sleep least

(Jan / Feb / Mar / Apr / May / Jun / Jul / Aug / Sept / Oct / Nov / Dec / In no particular month)

E. You eat most

(Jan / Feb / Mar / Apr / May / Jun / Jul / Aug / Sept / Oct / Nov / Dec / In no particular month)

F. Lose most weight

(Jan / Feb / Mar / Apr / May / Jun / Jul / Aug / Sept / Oct / Nov / Dec / In no particular month)

G. You socialize least

(Jan / Feb / Mar / Apr / May / Jun / Jul / Aug / Sept / Oct / Nov / Dec / In no particular month)

H. You feel worst

(Jan / Feb / Mar / Apr / May / Jun / Jul / Aug / Sept / Oct / Nov / Dec / In no particular month)

I. Eat least

(Jan / Feb / Mar / Apr / May / Jun / Jul / Aug / Sept / Oct / Nov / Dec / In no particular month)

J. Sleep most

(Jan / Feb / Mar / Apr / May / Jun / Jul / Aug / Sept / Oct / Nov / Dec / In no particular month)


2. To what degree do the following change with the seasons?

A. Sleep length

No change (0) / Slight change (1) / Moderate change (2) / Marked change (3) / Extremely Marked change (4)

B. Social activity

No change (0) / Slight change (1) / Moderate change (2) / Marked change (3) / Extremely Marked change (4)

C. Mood (overall feeling of well-being)

No change (0) / Slight change (1) / Moderate change (2) / Marked change (3) / Extremely Marked change (4)

D. Weight

No change (0) / Slight change (1) / Moderate change (2) / Marked change (3) / Extremely Marked change (4)

E. Appetite

No change (0) / Slight change (1) / Moderate change (2) / Marked change (3) / Extremely Marked change (4)

F. Energy level

No change (0) / Slight change (1) / Moderate change (2) / Marked change (3) / Extremely Marked change (4)


3. If you experience changes with the seasons, do you feel that these are a problem for you?

NO / YES

If YES, is this problem:

Mild / Moderate / Marked / Severe / Disabling


Results

Diagnosing SAD and the Winter Blues on the basis of the SPAQ

Winter Depression / SAD

Winter Blues

Question 1. Seasonal Pattern
During which months do you feel worst?
Winter Type
(You feel worst in months between December and February)
Winter Type
(You feel worst in months between December and February)
Question 2. Overall Seasonality Score
To what degree do the following change with the season? Sleep duration, social activity, mood, weight, appetite and energy level(obtain score by adding the numbers near the answer selected)
Total of 11 points or more Total between 8 and 10 points
Question 3. Changes with the seasons
If you experience such changes, do you feel they are a problem for you? If yes, is the problem mild, moderate, marked, severe or disabling?
YES, moderate or greater If you scored 8 or 9 on question 2, and answered yes, mild or greater on 3

OR

If you scored 10 on question 2, no matter what you answered on question 3

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