As the sky goes gray and the trees go bare, the coming of winter isn’t about cheer and holidays to some people, but a six month slump that they battle every year. TV2’s Julie Selby reports.
The holidays are upon us, but not everyone is cheerful.
People who suffer from seasonal affective disorder, or seasonal depression, are just getting into the winter slump. Seasonal depression is depression triggered by changing of the seasons, usually fall and winter.
As many as 10 million Americans have seasonal depression, most common in women over 20-years-old who live farther north. Symptoms of winter seasonal depression include irritability, oversleeping and appetite changes which can lead to weight gain.
Kent State student Jeremy Myers experiences seasonal depression and explains how serious this disorder can be.
“Sophomore year of high school, I had some thoughts of suicide,” Myers said. “I just thought ‘what if I ended it all?’ It has a happy ending because I’m here. I was able to get the help I needed.”
About 40,000 Americans will die from suicide this year. For people aged 15-24, suicide is the second leading cause of death. Many who attempt suicide have not received professional care.
There are many ways for Kent State students to ease their seasonal depression such as visiting DeWeese Health Center’s Psychological Services or White Hall.
A big factor of seasonal depression is the decreased amount of sunlight on your body. The sun tells the body when it is time to be active and when it is time to go to bed. Since the sun rises late and sets early in the winter, this may make you feel sluggish and tired.
Cleveland Institute of Art student Paige Margulies finds activities in the winter to keep her mind off of her depression.
“Definitely being distracted helps a lot,” Margulies said. “Doing things I really like to do like playing instruments, taking pictures, getting my mind off things.”
Seasonal affective disorder may make the holidays less joyful, but there are many resources to help those struggling make this winter more bearable.