Wintertime Blues

Seasonal depression hits a little different than the regular winter sadness


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The “depression devil” just wants me to stay home every day and sleep.

Madison Pegg, Videographer

Less daytime and colder weather put some in a bad mood, but seasonal depression is a bit different than just “wintertime blues”.  Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD or seasonal depression) affects many like me.

I have seasonal depression and for me, some of the symptoms include oversleeping, severe anxiety and low energy but it can affect everyone differently. I used to sleep anywhere from 12-16 hours each night when we don’t have school or weekends in the winter. During the winter, all I want to do is sleep, it helps me avoid feeling lonely or sad, even though it’s not necessarily a good way of coping, that’s what I used to do. Now I busy myself to distract myself from it, and it helps to an extent, but there’s no cure.

I have anxiety year-round but every winter my anxiety gets so much worse right around late October to early November and continues all the way until March or April. My usual upbeat self immediately turns into someone else. I’m constantly on edge and sometimes it shows when I’m talking to someone. I get irritated so much easier and everything is annoying to me. As silly as it sounds, sometimes even someone breathing heavily annoys me when I’m in a bad mood. 

Seasonal depression can be genetic and you may be more likely to be affected if you’re family members have it. Seasonal depression runs in my family. My sister, dad and I all have it so wintertime can be a little rough sometimes in my house. Everyone’s constantly in a bad mood and though we try not to take it out on each other, sometimes it just happens.

Though there’s not really a “cure”, there are some treatments that can help. Some people seek therapy which can improve symptoms. My dad works out and he’s found that it helps a lot with his seasonal depression. Sometimes it can be hard to get out of the house and go to the gym but he’s usually in a better mood when he gets back.

Seasonal depression can be a cause of the loss of sunlight during the winter. We have less daylight which for most people means less vitamin D. Some ways I’ve heard of people dealing with seasonal depression are by taking vitamin D supplements or using a tanning bed. Sometimes I have to force myself to go out with my friends even when I don’t feel like it. Part of me knows I’m going to regret it and I’m going to feel left out if I stay home. It’s almost like I feel as if I have an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other side, but in this case, it’s depression on one side and the regular me on the other. The “depression devil” just wants me to stay home every day and sleep. It doesn’t want me to do anything but be sad and lonely. The regular me wants to snap out of it, be social and be happy. 

If you think you have seasonal affective disorder, reach out to someone. Find a way that helps you cope with it. If you are feeling hopeless or lost, just know you are not alone.