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Her motivation for school and life tanked. Two years later, she was diagnosed with major depression and a year later, in , with dysthymia mild, chronic depression. Over the years, as medication and therapy stabilized her, her self-confidence increased.

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She became more comfortable interacting with others and eventually began to think about dating. She wanted a relationship and in time she sidelined her trepidations.

5 things every person with Seasonal Affective Disorder wants you to know

At an outdoor event, she met James, After dating for a couple of weeks, she casually brought up her struggle with depression. He asked questions about her experience and listened attentively and calmly, she says.

In fact, approximately 14 percent of Americans experience some degree of seasonal affective disorder SAD. While it may not be as intense in warmer climates, it can still cause some winter blues that make it difficult to take joy in the things that usually make one happy—and even all the wonderful things that can come with the fall and winter, like colorful leaves, snowfall and holiday parties. SAD is different from depression because it only affects individuals for selected months out of the year. The rest of the year, they can lead perfectly normal, happy lives and have satisfying relationships.

But when SAD hits, it can hit some people so hard that it hurts their relationships.

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Here is how seasonal affective disorder affects your relationship. Your partner can feel like just yesterday you popped up in the morning, excited to take on the day. You likely do not have much sex during fall and winter if you suffer from SAD. Not having sex, however, is harmful to your emotional bond with your partner and that strained bond can make SAD feel even worse. Even when you do have sex, you may struggle to orgasm.

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  4. You need to be very present in order to have an orgasm, but your thoughts quickly wander away during sex. But you sit many of them out because of your condition.

    Dating and the Winter Blues -

    This means your partner often has to go stag and face all the friends who pity him for showing up alone. But there are other, more practical ways to approach the SAD challenge. Smitson says, and neither are movies in darkened theatres—try a trip to the shopping mall instead. This is where undiagnosed SAD can be a real hindrance to relationships.

    A Guide to Treating SAD

    By Bob Strauss on behalf of Match. If you think you or your partner suffers from SAD, visit the beyondblue website or phone for more info. What's happening in your mouth when you don't floss. Tried and tested ways to deal with bedtime meltdowns.

    6 Signs You Have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

    Please note, LifeStyle cannot respond to all comments posted in our comments feed. If you have a comment or query you would like LifeStyle to respond to, please use our feedback form. Dating and the Winter Blues 3 minute read. Is it a cold or is it the flu?