Mental illnesses are an everyday, year-round diagnosis that no one ever asks for. However, in some cases, people are able to be plagued by depression during certain times of the year. Winter is the most common season to bring forth Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)- depression related to changes in the seasons- as the months are cold and dark. Most people affected by SAD experience moodiness and loss of energy, and also find that they have deeper depression in the spring and summer. Since this happens, the amount of suicides each year spike in the spring time. This is because their interaction increases with others unlike in the winter, which triggers suicidal thoughts. Psychiatric researchers believe that “sunshine triggers suicidal thoughts, making self-harm more common in months with longer days.” In the winter, the motivation to hurt oneself is much lower than in the brighter months, as when it’s cold for a long time, you feel less inclined to complete tasks. However, when warmth and light return, so does motivation. Many people find themselves retreating into themselves during the winter, and find they have an inability to complete tasks.
Arko Datto, a journalist who spent time in Denmark, realized he had acquired this disorder when he found he had zero motivation to take photos or interact. “‘It was minus 10 degrees for a long time,’ Datto recalled. ‘It kind of hit me in a very big way. I retreated myself into a shell and had low energy levels.’” At first he denied having depression, until he realized what SAD was.
Anyone, no matter the age or gender, can be diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder, especially those who already have depression or lose energy in the winter. Whether it’s the changing of seasons or maybe just chemical imbalances, there is always a reason, and SAD could be the reason for your lack of energy.
Megan McKern, Staff Writer
Sophomore Megan McKern is a staff writer for the 2014-2015 Colonel. She participates in GSA, fencing, and the indoor soccer team.