Shorter days, winter weather can lead to seasonal depression


Jonathan trejo perez

Bianca Johnson

Picture your daily life in winter.

Are you smiling? Are you doing anything? Are you with friends?


Are you tired? Are you stressed? Are you alone?

Now using those same questions, picture yourself in the summer. Is there a side you lean more towards?

If so, you’re not alone. You may have something called seasonal affective disorder, commonly known as seasonal depression.

According to Mayo Clinic, “Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year.” Many experience SAD during the transition of fall into winter, but some also experience it in the spring to summer season.

As the days get shorter and colder, many of you reading this could be experiencing some of these symptoms. Some of the fall to winter season symptoms include low energy, overeating and oversleeping.

To avoid over sleeping, practice getting the right amount of sleep. The best way to get rid of the temptation of sleeping is by filling your schedule. It’s important to socialize and having a busy schedule can help you practice stress management. Exercise will also help, so, If you can, try to work out outside or by a window to get natural light.

If you believe you are experiencing SAD, please reach out to a trusted adult.  If you don’t know where to turn, there’s always a spot for you at the Wellness Center. The Counseling Office also has a special counselor just for you. Each student is assigned to a counselor as soon as they enter Watkins Mill and that counselor stays with them until they graduate.

“We try to analyze each situation to the tenth degree,”  resource counselor Paul Young said. Young grew up in Montgomery County, where he met counselor Tammy Wojtyna who helped him through a hard time in his life. “I had a good support system,” Young added. Support is the foundation to fighting SAD.

The word counseling can be off putting. Many have different interpretations of the word, but counseling is the provision of assistance and guidance in resolving personal, social, or psychological problems and difficulties, especially by a professional.

Counseling is not something scary, it is just a way to get help.

We might not always have an answer for a quick fix, but we will find an answer,” Young added. Whether you choose to go to the Wellness Center or meet with your counselor, there are many steps you can take on your own to feel better.

Remember SAD is seasonal and winter ends. Stay strong.

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