This study compares the clinical characteristics of 127 patients with major depression, 99 with a seasonal and 28 with a non-seasonal pattern. Non-seasonal depressives had significantly higher scores in the Comprehensive Psychopathological Rating Scale, and the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. Increased appetite and carbohydrate craving, were more frequently reported among patients with a seasonal pattern. Compared to previous reports, the Swedish patients with seasonal depression had less atypical vegetative symptomatology. The symptoms sadness, suicidal thoughts, slowness of movement, gastrointestinal symptoms, and weight loss were more frequent in the patients with a non-seasonal pattern. The clinical symptomatology has a low specificity compared to the seasonal pattern in diagnosing seasonal affective disorder according to DSM-III-R for seasonal and nonseasonal patterns.