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Fenton InPrint Online

The student news site of Fenton High School

Fenton InPrint Online

The student news site of Fenton High School

Fenton InPrint Online

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Fighting the winter blues

PHOTO Sylvia Kline

Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is the mood changes that many individuals experience during the winter months when the days get shorter and are typically darker. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, symptoms of SAD include anxiety, sadness, a persistent “empty” feeling, loss of interest in hobbies, decreased energy and changes in sleep patterns and typical eating habits. 

According to the Columbia University Irving Medical Center, SAD is linked to less daylight, and is worsened by extended periods of time indoors. The typical period for SAD is late October through November, with symptoms not fully subsiding until mid-May. 

Yale Medicine recommends making a conscious effort to spend time outside, regardless of the cold, by simply taking morning walks or working in the yard in the early morning hours. 

Additionally, the Irving Medical Center recommends normalizing sleep habits. They state that the increased pressure for individuals with SAD to sleep longer than they do in spring and summer is not healthy, because instead of resulting in increased daytime energy, it is rather a symptom of depression. 

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John Hopkins Medicine also recommends setting realistic goals in light of decreased motivation like eating well-balanced and fulfilling meals, getting regular exercise, doing things that bring one joy and confiding in family and friends. 

For more information on counseling services, visit the Mental Health Services Administration here.


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