Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.)

Seasonal Affective Disorder cause people to feel blue when skies are constantly grey

Alexis Finley , Reporter

If one experiences the ‘blues’ in the winter months, that lasts longer than two weeks, they may be a victim of Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D). S.A.D. is a form of depression that occurs in a certain season of the year; usually, but not limited to, the winter. People who experience S.A.D. have a normal mental health for most of the year but experience depression during a certain season, that usually occurs year after year. Symptoms of S.A.D include many of those similar to clinical depression. They are:

  • Hopelessness, or feeling helpless
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of energy and/or having no motivation
  • Heavy feeling in the arms or legs
  • Social withdrawal
  • Experiencing hypersomnia or oversleeping
  • Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
  • Weight gain
  • Difficulty concentrating and focusing

Treatments for S.A.D are also similar to clinical depression treatments. One option is light therapy, where patients sit in front of a UV light for about 15 minutes a day. The light gives off vital vitamin D that improves mood. There is also psychotherapy or talk therapy, with a counselor. Another option is medication or antidepressants. Senior Alanah Wilson-Goodale adds her opinion on the subject of S.A.D.

“I have never had S.A.D, just clinical depression, but it does get worse in the fall,” Wilson-Goodale said.

There are many different treatments for depression, medications and psychotherapy among other things. When asked about her personal experience, Wilson-Goodale said, “I would say other. I think that to overcome something as engulfing as depression, you need to figure it out for yourself. I think it’s a personal thing and that it is different for everyone.”

When suffering from depression, people have a lot to deal with. Depression is widely misunderstood as a choice and not a mental illness. While there are a lot of treatment options, it is up to personal need and preference when deciding what to do.