Seasonal Affective Disorder

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Alice Mancilla, Co-Editor In Chief

Often on overcast days, many individuals find themselves feeling down or low on energy. These feelings actually arise from the season itself. According to, “…seasonal affective disorder or (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons.” When having the condition people typically gain the symptoms of depression in winter or fall and then those symptoms change in the summer and spring seasons. 

Symptoms may include sadness, little to no interest in things you have enjoyed, low energy, hopeless, and dramatic weight change. In the fall or winter one may oversleep, have lots of cravings, gain weight, and have little to no energy everyday. In the spring and summer, people may have trouble sleeping, lose weight, have anxiety, or become more irritable. The symptoms of depression and anxiety may also come along with having seasonal depression disorder.

Although psychologists do not know what exactly causes SAD, theories suggest that the lack of sunlight may cause a biological clock change, chemical imbalance in the brain, or vitamin D deficiency. As the sun sets earlier Cleveland Clinic  “the internal clock [that] regulates your mood, sleep and hormones [..] can’t adjust to changes in daylight length”. The treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder is the same as treating normal depression like using psychotherapy and medications. People with this disorder may also be recommended light therapy with. Treatment can also differ based on previous or current medical or mental health conditions. For example, SAD affects people with bipolar disorder more and people with this condition have a higher chance of getting it. 

Seasonal Depression Disorder can be avoided. Some ways are going outside and not staying indoors. Walking your dog, going for a hike, or simply being outside for 10 minutes can help your mental health. Also, eating a healthy and well-balanced diet can prevent you from eating too much or too little. Keeping track of vitamins and minerals can be extremely beneficial. Exercising can also help with SAD symptoms as working out can relieve stress and anxiety. Also, remember to keep in touch with friends and family and stay socially active. 

Although feeling sad or upset about something gloomy can happen, it is important to know that SAD happens when these mood changes are a pattern. If the seasons change one’s sleep, appetite, or overall mental health. 

If you are feeling any symptoms of seasonal depression disorder, depression, and anxiety see a mental health professional, parent, or trusted adult. Saugus has mental health resources available for all students. The Serenity Space is also available for students Monday through Friday from 7:30 to 3:30. The Hart district also has mental health resources available at this website: Hart Mental Health Resources. If you or anyone you know has a mental health emergency call 911. For the Suicide Prevention Hotline call 1-800-273-8255 or visit Text “HOME” to 741741 to speak to a trained crisis specialist or visit