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Ways to combat winter depression
December 10, 2022

By East Norriton Bulldog Bulletin reporters | Have you ever noticed that people can sometimes feel more down during the winter months? It is a real thing, and it is called Seasonal Affective Disorder. 

According to mentalhealth.gov, Seasonal Affective disorder, also known as S.A.D., is when you feel a serious mood change during the winter months when there is less natural sunlight. Doctors say it is a type of depression.

Symptoms of S.A.D. may include feeling sad or depressed, changes in sleep patterns, changes in appetite, lack of energy, or even suicidal thoughts, according to psychiatry.org.

“Sometimes when the seasons change, some people get depressed. Me for one, I like bright sunshine, it keeps me going,” said Mrs. Zangara, East Norriton Middle School nurse. “When it’s dull and things start to die in the winter time, some people think it’s not pretty and not nice, it can affect someone’s mental and physical health.”

ENMS seventh- and eighth-grade school counselor Ms. Raimondi said S.A.D. can affect someone’s everyday life by making them feel down. For example, when you have a long string of gloomy days or have rain for a long time. 

“I refer to it as weather that makes you want to stay under your blanket and not want to move,” Ms. Raimondi said. “It can slow down somebody’s day to day by not being motivated to get through daily activities. ”           

There are ways to cope. The Cleveland Clinic says that eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly in the winter months can help combat S.A.D. The organization also said to talk to a counselor if you’re feeling down. 

If you think you might have S.A.D., the Cleveland Clinic says, don’t isolate yourself, because being alone can make your symptoms worse. “Even though you may not feel like going or being social, try to reach out to friends or loved ones,” according to the Cleveland Clinic.  

Ms. Raimondi said we are lucky that we live in Pennsylvania, a place where there are four very distinct seasons, so if you’re feeling the effects of S.A.D., the seasons will change and you will be able to get a good dose of sunshine soon.

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Since 2003, Healthy NewsWorks has been empowering elementary and middle school students to become researchers, writers, and confident communicators who advance health understanding and literacy through their factual publications and digital media.

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