by aleah goodman
Winter is coming, and with that means shorter days and darker skies. Some students, especially those with extracurriculars or sports, find themselves commuting and coming home while it is dark outside.
The cold and dark weather can make anyone feel a bit more drained. According to Psychology Today, “melatonin production in the body increases and people tend to feel sleepier and more lethargic” in the winter due to darkness. However, how do you differentiate between a normal level of lethargy and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?
Many of the symptoms of SAD are also symptoms of clinical depression. It is important to understand the difference. The symptoms which people with winter-occurring SAD experience occur in the fall and winter, but are gone for spring and summer Meanwhile, symptoms of people with clinical depression occur regardless of the season, and the causes of clinical depression are not necessarily seasonal-related.
According to the Mayo Clinic, some symptoms of SAD include:
SAD is not to be taken lightly, and it is important not to refer to yourself as having “seasonal depression” if you do not have SAD. However, if you notice that you are experiencing symptoms of SAD to the extent that it is negatively impacting your life, you should seek help. If you believe you might be suffering from SAD, speak to your guidance counselor, a parent or guardian, or a trusted adult.
Seasonal Affective Disorder. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD). (2017, October 25). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20364651.
Aleah Goodman, BHSEC Queens
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