The Roaring Times

The Student Newspaper of John H. Pitman High School.

The Roaring Times

The Roaring Times

Seasonal Depression

Seasonal Depression

Have you ever noticed a change in mood from you or anyone else around you? Did this change occur when the weather started getting colder? An answer to this realization could be seasonal depression. 

 

First, let’s talk about what seasonal depression is. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), seasonal depression is when your mood is affected when the days get shorter and it gets colder. Seasonal depression can occur in anyone. In the summer they can be extremely outgoing but as the seasons change so does their mood. 

 

Signs you or someone else is experiencing seasonal depression include loss of motivation in activities you usually enjoy, feeling depressed for long periods of time, having trouble sleeping, low energy, agitation, having difficulty concentrating, etc. 

 

Let’s say you recognize these traits in yourself or a friend.. What do you do next? The next step is to get diagnosed with it. Talk to a parent and/or guardian to schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider or mental health specialist. From there on, they might have you fill out a questionnaire and then evaluate you based on your responses. 

 

What causes seasonal depression is currently unknown. Scientists have been researching this topic and found no clear answer. Research does show that people living in the far north are more likely to have seasonal depression due to the shorter daylight hours. People living in Florida are less likely to develop seasonal depression because they have longer daylight hours. Research also states that seasonal depression is more common in women and with people in their young adulthood. In addition to this, sunlight controls the levels of molecules that help maintain normal serotonin levels.

 

 Seasonal depression is also more common in people with other mental health issues such as major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder. It is not uncommon for people who are diagnosed with seasonal depression to be linked with other mental health disorders. Before doubting yourself, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with your mental health specialist/health care provider. 

If you do go to a mental health specialist/health-care provider and get diagnosed, you may wonder what they’ll do from then on. Typically they’ll either put you on medication or they’ll provide light therapy. Light therapy is when you sit in front of an extremely bright box for 30-45 minutes. They can also give you vitamin D although results of efficiency can vary. Another thing they may do is psychotherapy (talk therapy). Medication can be prescribed but will usually be on an extended-release form. 

 

If you want to research more, here are some links to help you do so, 

 

 https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/seasonal-affective-disorder

 

 https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org.

 

https://mhanational.org/conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder-sad