How Seasonal Depression Affects Students

Winter is the time of year that people spend more time indoors and are working to catch up financially — from the holidays, end-of-year bills, etc.

Seasonal depression is when your body starts having symptoms like sadness and loneliness which can start in the fall and continue through the winter. During these times  your energy goes down and can make you feel gloomy. 

People are at a point where they get lazy, not wanting to go out. That in combination with the stress felt with work, school and helping their families out leads students to be stuck in one place making themselves feeling depressed.  

College Adviser Jamie Park knows firsthand the effects of seasonal depression.

“Every winter I would get very sad; I learned with my psych classes at MSU that it can be very chemical in your Brain,” said Park.

Park said that a large part of seasonal depression can come from the lack of sunshine in the winter months.

“It’s not just because it looks very gloomy out, it’s because you don’t get a lot of vitamin D from the sun that produces happy hormones. If you don’t take the right steps to get those endorphins from somewhere else, you can feel alone or depressed or lazy,” said college adviser Jamie Park.

It isn’t always just the lack of sunlight, said Park, who added that there are things that can be done to help.

“There are a lot of factors that fit into seasonal depression but if you take the right steps to go forward with it you will be able to feel a little better.”

Sometimes, staying indoors can lead to more than just lack of sunlight.

“When it gets darker, that’s when we spend more time with family, and that’s where I think depression can start,” said counselor Ezekiel Moreno. “Some students’ families can be a source of stress, for example trauma in the family,” said Moreno. 

To have a happier life in the darkest of winter, Moreno recommends staying in the light and keeping moving.  In the article 12 Ways to Ease Seasonal Depression, one of the ways to give your body the energy it’s missing is to buy a lightbox. A lightbox, which can be found for $35-$50, provides your body with the vitamin D you’ve lost from sunshine and can help in the recovery from seasonal affective disorder. The light from the therapy boxes is significantly brighter than that of regular light bulbs, and it’s provided in different wavelengths to give you energy.

The lightbox  is not your only option.There are many other ways you can give your body more energy. Simply getting outside is a solution that works for many.

“When I feel alone, I get out of the place I am and go outside,” said senior Josiah Thao.

To get over depression more people should get up and stay active, like going out for a walk at the park, or riding your bike around your neighborhood.

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