How to Avoid S.A.D

Combating the depression that affects people in the winter


Eppie Costello, Staff Writer

     With the winter weather approaching us again, many people can feel negatively towards the snow and the colder season, and develop something called S.A.D.

     S.A.D., or Seasonal Affective Disorder is a kind of depression that comes and goes with the season. It is also often called “winter depression” because the symptoms are most severe and prominent in the winter. However some people can feel the opposite, and actually feel this disorder more in the summer. 

     Some symptoms of S.A.D. include feeling sad almost all day every day, losing interest in past enjoyed activities, having low energy/ feeling sluggish, sleeping too much, craving carbohydrates, overeating, weight gain, having difficulty concentrating, feeling hopeless, worthless, or guilty, and having serious thoughts of not wanting to live anymore. Many of these symptoms are relative to regular depression someone might feel all year round, but if someone feels these only during a specific season, they might want to be checked for S.A.D.

     Any harmful thoughts or experiencing too many bad days is when a person should see a doctor, as there are some regular depression medications that can be offered. It is important someone seeks help as ignoring the symptoms of S.A.D. can lead to larger things such as social, work, and school withdrawal, substance abuse, more mental health disorders such as anxiety or eating disorders, and suicidal thoughts or behavior. 

     Although there are no real medical cures, there are some therapy tricks to help someone suffering. Vitamin D can help with people not experiencing enough sunlight, light therapy lamps can help brighten rooms and boost energy for the winter time. Psychotherapy, which helps people reduce avoidance behaviors, and allow for planning of fun activities to keep them active and happy. 

     If you or someone you know has any symptoms of S.A.D. get them checked to a doctor as soon as possible. It is important to realize that there are so many people experiencing S.A.D. and that no one should have to fight it alone. Reach out and get the help needed so you can enjoy all seasons and truly live your life.