Seek help if you suffer from seasonal depression


By Logan Short

Thank God it’s spring and the weather is getting nicer. I’m like a little kid that constantly wants to play outside. What constitutes “playing” is a broad range of activities, but if I can’t play, I pout.

It wasn’t until I saw a doctor two years ago during my sophomore year about my obvious difference in moods that I was able to justify playing outside as a form of medical treatment. It turns out I was showing symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is where a person will experience episodes of depression during the fall or winter seasons. “Depression? What? I’m not depressed,” I thought when my doctor told me about SAD. I showed the symptoms, though: sleeping a lot, having little energy and just feeling flat out depressed.

I was very embarrassed and cynical about these symptoms. I had no bad home life, no serious traumatic event, pretty high-self esteem (probably more than my girlfriend appreciates) and no obvious reason for feeling down.

Seeking treatment or at least a simple analysis of your symptoms is nothing to be embarrassed or cynical about, though. If you think you have no reason to have the flu but you’re coughing non-stop and have a fever, you would probably go to the doctor, right?

It’s scary when you get even the mildest thought that you don’t have a full grip on things, especially at a young age, but your mental health isn’t invincible just because you’re not an 80-year-old in a nursing home.

The truth is that one in 12 teenagers are affected by depression, according to an article titled “What Comes First: Depression in Teens or Emo Music?” That’s just over 8 percent, a pretty substantial amount of teens.

The study from the article links listening to too much music to depression. I always thought music would be therapeutic, but a simple piece of information like this can be the perfect prescription for someone with mild symptoms of depression.

Even though my doctor initially prescribed a medication, he said SAD could be from not getting enough sunlight, which gives you vitamin D; I ended up deciding to just go outside and play more. Woohoo!

Now I don’t mean to make light of the issue and act like it’s an illness always easy to get over, because some people really struggle with depression. If you seek professional help, though, and at least get an idea of the cause and possible solutions, you can be the judge for yourself and decide what to do.

Whether severe or just noticeable symptoms, don’t ignore your body. It knows what’s up.