Freeze Out Seasonal Affective Disorder

Infographic created by Nicole Krage

Andrea Earnest, Online Editor-In-Chief

The shorter days and longer nights are slowly creeping in as November begins. Now that daylight savings time is here, which means that days are even shorter, it’s possible that people can suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.).

According to the National Institutes for Health, S.A.D. is a form of depression that occurs in the late autumn and winter months when days become shorter and there is significantly less natural sunlight.

“Many people experience some changes in energy, mood or sleeping and eating patterns,” said Michele Manassah, Director of Counseling Services. “Some people experience no changes or only a few; others experience mild changes that don’t cause problems or may be a bit of a nuisance.”

According to webmd.com, anyone can experience S.A.D., but it is more common in women, people who live farther from the equator and those between the ages of 15 and 55.

Symptoms of S.A.D. can include increased feelings of stress or anxiety, increased irritability, vague physical complaints or even a change in school performance. Some people can also feel physical illness.

“If you think you may have S.A.D., it’s a good idea to get a physical check up to rule out such health conditions, especially if you have a personal or family history of such conditions,” Manassah said.

There are several ways to treat S.A.D. before seeking professional help. Using full spectrum light bulbs, wearing brightly colored clothing and exercising regularly can help to alleviate any symptoms. The National Institutes of Health also recommends that those suffering from S.A.D. get enough sleep and eat healthy foods.

If you are concerned that you may have S.A.D. or that someone close to you does, free and confidential counseling is available for all students at the Health and Counseling Center.

Andrea Earnest

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