As the days draw in, the temperature plunges and daylight takes on the greyish hue of winter, it’s hardly surprising that some of us will be feeling a bit down in the dumps.

The winter blues or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a condition that occurs when seasons change - mostly from summer to autumn/winter - and is thought to affect about 2 million people in the UK and more than 12 million across Europe.

“SAD symptoms are generally the same as any other form of depression,” according to Jessica Garibay, an information specialist for the National Depressive and Manic Depressive Association.

“This may include prolonged sadness, significant appetite change, weight gain, loss of energy, feelings of guilt and indecisiveness.”

The Seasonal Affective Disorder organisation says that modern living has “dramatically altered nature’s cues” and this has affected human well being. Where a hundred years ago humans would wake at dawn and go to sleep at nightfall modern working hours, artificial lighting and days spent indoors looking at screens have thrown many of us out of kilter.

The symptoms of SAD are wide ranging and in the most severe cases can require hospitalisation and anti- depressants.

If you are suffering then you must see your doctor and explore the best avenues for treatment. In the meantime here’s our guide to helping you beat the blues.

Click here or on the image to launch our guide to helping you beat the winter blues.