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The Student News Site of North High School


The Student News Site of North High School


Seasonal depression is still a concern even with warmer winter temperatures

Despite Minnesota’s unseasonably warm winter, short days and loss of sunlight can lead to feelings of sadness
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It’s December and who would have thought that we’d still have temperatures in the mid 40s. With it getting colder and the days getting shorter, it’s quite common for people to catch the winter blues commonly known as seasonal depression.

Seasonal depression is a disorder that’s caused by a serotonin change in your brain typically in the cold and gloomy months like November and December. In late fall, early winter daylight is limited and if a person doesn’t get the amount of light that they need it may lead to depression-like symptoms. According to the Mayo Clinic women are more likely to be diagnosed with the disorder than men and seasonal depression occurs more frequently in younger adults than older adults.

If you believe that you have seasonal depression go to the doctor. It may be difficult for your doctor to diagnose seasonal depression because it has common symptoms with other forms of depression. Here are three ways your doctor can diagnose you. One being a physical exam, they do this because sometimes depression can be  linked to physical health issues. Second being lab tests, they take your blood to test your blood count or sometimes they might test your thyroid. Thirdly and the one that most people would expect is a psychological evaluation, they will ask you questions about your symptoms, and thoughts, they may even have you fill out a questionnaire. 

There is no definite way to prevent this disorder but there are ways to treat it. One way is light treatment which is when at the start of your day you sit in front of a light box that mimics natural outdoor light which can help with boosting your mood. There’s different types of light boxes so you can find the one that works for you. Talk therapy is also another way of treatment. This type of behavioral therapy can help you find healthy ways to cope that don’t involve self isolation. This type of therapy can also help to identify and correct negative thoughts and manage stress. If symptoms are severe your doctor may recommend an antidepressant treatment.

If someone you know is suffering from seasonal depression do some self care with them. You can go outside and take walks, exercise and do yoga, do something that you know they love, and make their environment welcoming and sunny. Keep the windows open and avoid creating a negative environment.

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