The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Torch Design / Megan Chapman
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Is the weather affecting my mental health?

+As+the+winter+draws+nearer%2C+many+find+themselves+suffering+from+Seasonal+Depression.
Photo Attribution: ;flickrcommons/magdalenaroeseler
As the winter draws nearer, many find themselves suffering from Seasonal Depression.

Do you ever feel your mood changing for absolutely no reason when the winter time comes

around?

SAD is a disorder that affects your mood seasonally. In the most common type of SAD,  your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months.

During these months, you experience symptoms such as lack of energy, feeling depressed most days or every day, loss of interest in activities you typically enjoy, insomnia, weight loss or gain, feelings of hopelessness, suicidal thoughts and difficulty concentrating.

Signs that you may have SAD in the fall and winter are  oversleeping, weight gain, fatigue and craving high-carb foods. I personally feel the effects of SAD intensely during the winter months. I get lethargic, unmotivated and depressed.

The ways I try to beat this includes working out and eating healthy. Working out, although you would think it would make you more tired, actually gives me energy.

It also releases endorphins, which makes me less sad and makes me feel good. Eating healthy is also very important because it also helps in making me less tired. Eating carbs and greasy foods actually makes you more tired.

Another way of coping with SAD is light therapy, which entails using a specialized light that alleviates symptoms. This light can be found on Amazon for less than 50 dollars. SAD is common and should be taken seriously.

Please do not diagnose yourself if you feel you may be suffering from SAD, talk to a properly trained physician. If you are having thoughts of suicide, please get help. Lastly, if you know anyone with SAD or see changes in friends and family, look out for them and encourage them to get help. Most importantly, remember you are not alone.

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