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SAD

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SAD

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Getty Images/iStockphoto

Ilona Soltys, Editor

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SAD. No, not the xxxtentacion song. Not how you feel after you bomb your Calc test. Seasonal Affective Disorder.According to Mental Health America,Seasonal depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or the “winter blues,” is a subtype of depression or bipolar disorder that occurs and ends around the same time every year. Seasonal depression typically occurs when the seasons change and most symptoms begin in the fall and continue into the winter months.”  Basically in simpler terms, it’s a winter depression. Doctors aren’t sure of the exact cause but often they link it to reduced number of sunlight in the winter months which lowers our bodies levels of serotonin, a mood-affecting neurotransmitter in our brain. Lower levels of serotonin are found in the brain scans of people who suffer from depression. Another link that could potentially cause SAD in the winter months is increased levels of Melatonin production, a sleep related hormone that produces in the dark. As the days become shorter and darker in the colder months, melatonin production increases.

Some symptoms of SAD include changes in sleep (usually oversleeping or difficulty staying awake), extreme tiredness and fatigue, changes in appetite (overeating), and  difficulty concentrating as the winter months progress.

So why is it important to mention SAD?  Well, the new school year blossoms in September and stretches over three, sometimes brual, winter months. I often hear students complaining, as the colder days progress, that they’re losing motivation and sleeping a lot more than normal. Most of the time, it’s just the fact that as the school year in unwinding, the becomes harder. But sometimes, it’s more serious that that.

  • Suicide is the world’s third-leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24.
  • About 20 percent of all teens experience depression before they reach adulthood.
  • Between 10 to 15 percent suffer from symptoms at any one time. Only 30 percent of depressed teens are being treated for it.

And those are only some of the scary truths about depression in teenagers. It’s important that our youth becomes more than just a sad statistic so, if you feel that you are suffering from these symptoms and it’s more than just your workload, try seeing your General Physician and talking to him about it. Remember to stay bundled up because winter arrived and it’s gonna stay for a little longer.

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