S.A.D. for the Holidays?

Photo By: Georgetown Behavioral Hospital

Photo By: Georgetown Behavioral Hospital

When one thinks of seasonal depression, she may just associate it with a “blue Christmas” or not having a significant other during the holidays. But in reality, it is a much-needed topic of discussion, especially in one’s teenage years. Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) is a type of depression that occurs when the seasons change, usually in late fall and winter. While seasonal depression may not affect everyone, it still affects five percent of the population which translates to roughly ten million Americans. If you also suffer from this disorder, know that you are not alone and there are many others in the same boat.

Photo By: Etactics.com






Other than feeling lonely and sad during the holidays, S.A.D. has multiple risk factors. This disorder affects some more than others due to the position of the sun. This means that states farther from the equator that get less than ten hours of sunlight are at higher risk of this disorder. Data proves that more young adult women are at risk, which may explain why high school and college students have much higher mental health risks. https://ssanews.org/667/seasonal/fall-back-a-race-against-the-clocks/ 

Photo By: Etactics.com Graph By: Madeleine Nolan

For those seeking help, getting frequent amounts of sunlight is crucial. This can be accomplished by small acts during the day such as lifting the bedroom shades in the morning, going on short walks outside when the weather is sunny and minimizing wearing sunglasses. Other great ways to help get out of this depressive state are journaling about your progress and/or just your daily routine. Spending quality family time helps reassure that you are always loved is also very important. Pets are also a great outlet, due to data that shows an increase in serotonin and dopamine levels.

It’s important to talk about seasonal depression because many people suffer from it, even if it is a mild case. If you, or someone you know, is dealing with this, just know that it’s okay and valid to feel this way. Mental health is such a big topic among teenagers today because so many people suffer from it. Younger minds are at a greater risk for most mental health disorders since our brains are still developing so it’s definitely a conversation that we need to keep in the forefront of our minds. Instead of focusing on the SAD times, enjoy the holidays as much as possible!