Winter blues, or SAD, is a real disorder and shouldn’t be dismissed

Morgan Gallagher, Staff Writer

“Off days” happen to the best of us. Perhaps you didn’t get as much work finished as you planned, or you feel upset about minor details. If you’ve found that, when contemplating why your week has felt unproductive, unsocial and gloomy, you notice that the cloud cover and chilled temps haven’t let up – this is likely not a coincidence. Though this is a smaller scale example, mood disorders still continue to be more common in teenagers throughout the years due to higher levels of school stress and life agenda, and it’s important to be informed on these real-life mental blocks.

“Winter Blues” is what most may call it – but the reality is that seasonal depression (called SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a diagnosable disorder. In common cases, one might find that an uprising of these emotions happen around the fall/winter months – when the weather gets colder, rainier and duller. Though this is common, some cases have the cycle occurring in the spring/summer.

This sort of disorder occurs in similar, loose cycles yearly. However, it should not be taken less seriously as a mental issue. Just as certain levels of chemicals in the brain can cause mood disorders as well as basic human emotions, these chemicals can also be altered by outside sources. One, for some people, being the weather itself.

Many with mental health issues – which include a growing amount of teens across the U.S. –  may find these symptoms in various forms of intensities. Whether it only be hints of the issue or severe depression, SAD is not a made-up problem. Though scientists know little about why this phenomenon happens, it is possible that the general decrease in light and vitamin D during colder months MIGHT be a factor.

All in all, it’s important to remember that seasonal affective disorder is diagnosable and real. What is usually dismissed as “Winter Blues” or “Summertime Sadness” should not be dismissed.