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Happy holidays? Not for those with seasonal depression

The golden leaves of fall cascading upon the street have long been replaced with joyful snow. Yet this transition of seasons brings with it many changes, in which scenery is simply one of them. 

It is important to recall that not everyone is put into a holly jolly mood with the snowfall and more hours spent inside. Many people experience a type of seasonal depression, called Seasonal Affective Disorder, in which one will seem more retreated and isolated during the fall and winter months. 

The triggers are different for everybody and no two people may experience it in the same way. Some may explain it quite simply: as it gets cold out and you have less sunlight, you lose the energy to perform tasks. Others may find it challenging to put it into words. 

So with this, it is important to move forward this winter with an open mindset and patience for people. Your sibling isn’t having mood swings for no reason and your best friend isn’t secretly moving away. Simply remember to approach people with a heightened sense of understanding this holiday season.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, they can reach out to their school counselor for support. 

Also, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) also offers a free national helpline at 1-800-622-HELP. 

About Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal affective disorder is diagnosed more often in women than in men. And SAD occurs more frequently in younger adults than in older adults

Complications that can arise with SAD are work problems, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts or behaviors, anxiety, and eating disorders. 

A drop in serotonin, a brain chemical (neurotransmitter) that affects mood, might play a role in SAD. Reduced sunlight can cause a drop in serotonin that may trigger depression.

The change in season can disrupt the balance of the body’s level of melatonin, which plays a role in sleep patterns and mood

Source: National Institute of Mental Health


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