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The official student-run newspaper publication at GEHS.

The Blazer

The official student-run newspaper publication at GEHS.

The Blazer

The official student-run newspaper publication at GEHS.

The Blazer

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Bitter Months Lead to Bitter Emotions

A Report on Seasonal Depression
Maci Shafer and Addie Reiter

Many people feel sad or uninterested in the fall and winter months. These people who end up feeling this way may have seasonal depression. Seasonal depression also known as SAD affects about 5% of adults every year. 

In the fall and winter months peoples moods often decline. This can be caused by many factors including school starting, loss of friendships from the summer months and how everything looks outside, but it’s actually caused by the lack of sunlight.

Less sunlight and shorter days can really have an effect on people. Because of the decrease of the sunlight, human bodies release more melatonin which makes people more tired and exhausted. 

According to John Hopkins Medicine, “Less sunlight and shorter days are thought to be linked to a chemical change in the brain and may be part of the cause of SAD. Melatonin, a sleep-related hormone, also has been linked to SAD. The body naturally makes more melatonin when its dark. So, when the days are shorter and darker, melatonin is made.”

The symptoms of both of these can be the same including increased sleep, loss of interest, anxiety, headaches, and much more.

“The most commonly reported SAD symptoms include significant fatigue, pervasively sad mood, loss of interest in activities, sleeping more than usual, craving and eating more starches and sweets, gaining at least 5 percent of body weight and difficulty concentrating,”  An article titled, “Seasonal Affective Disorders Sufferers Have More Than Just the Winter Blues,” written by Kelly Rohan, a SAD expert said. “Most people experience SAD symptoms to a certain extent, especially at higher latitudes.”

Fall onset SAD starts in the fall and gets better during the spring and summer months. Some students here at GEHS feel more down and the winter months and it can be caused by this.

“In the summer i’m more energetic and in the winter i’m more tired and lazy because it’s so cold and gets darker faster,” Morgan Shafer, a freshman said.

On the other hand SAD can also appear during the summer months. Spring onset starts during the spring and lasts through the summer months then it gets better during the fall and winter months. 

“I feel more happier in the winter months, its cool outside, theres no baseball and I can actually see my girlfriend more often. I just feel really busy in the summer because I have a lot of sports going on,” Kaden Medina, a freshman said. 

SAD can be treated by exposure to sunlight, light therapy, psychotherapy, and anti-depressants. 

Mayo Clinic explained, “A light therapy box mimics outdoor light. It’s thought that this type of light may cause a chemical change in the brain that lifts your mood and eases other symptoms of SAD, such as being tired most of the time and sleeping too much.” 

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