Students offer insight on dealing with seasonal depression

The weather is getting colder and the sun is starting to show itself significantly less often. Many people think about December and imagine Christmas and hot chocolate, but for some, December means cold, gloomy, and sad. A person with this mentality may suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. 

According to Psychology Today, it’s estimated that approximately 10 million Americans are affected by SAD. SAD is a form of depression which occurs at the same time every year. It’s usually triggered by the loss of sunlight and dropping temperatures, which normally starts in early October and ends in late March, in the Midwest.

A student here at AL, who prefers to stay anonymous, says that their SAD affects their mood as well as their home’s atmosphere.

¨My mom and I both struggle with seasonal depression. Since it is just her and I living in a house, the atmosphere can be really depressing and dismal this time of year,¨ they said. ¨There can sometimes be a lot of clothes on the floor, dishes can be piled up in the sink, neither of us have had much motivation.¨

While SAD comes with many challenges, there are ways to cope with the sudden change of mood.

¨The good thing about December is that Christmas is around the corner and we only spend like half the month in school. We like to keep the lights on, on the Christmas tree to keep us in the holiday spirit. We also like to write fun new year’s resolutions to make sure that we have goals to work on and are not just sitting in the house all of January,¨ they said.

Winter season can be a hard time for people with SAD, but keeping busy and distracting yourself from the bad weather can really help maintain a positive attitude. Another student, who also wants to remain anonymous,  says that light therapy really helps them cope with SAD.

¨My Mom bought me a therapy lamp for christmas and it actually helps a lot. I had my doubts in it at first, but it actually has really helped me through the depression. Of course it does not cure it completely, but it definitely helps. Oh yeah, and coffee always keeps me going.¨ 

There are many ways for people with SAD to help them stay smiling during the winter. If you or someone you know struggles with SAD make sure to keep in mind that spring is just around the corner. Until then, keep busy and do what makes you happy.