What “seasonal depression” means for teens


Sophie Johnson, Opinion Editor

As we are in the midst of the winter months, many people may wonder why they tend to feel sadder during the coldest parts of the year.

These people may be experiencing seasonal affective disorder (SAD), better known as “seasonal depression.” SAD is temporary, coming and going with the seasons, and is also common in high school students. 

One of the main causes of seasonal depression is the lack of sunlight received during this time, causing a vitamin D deficiency. 

For high school students especially, another main cause is added stress due to school and other obligations. 

Many teenagers who suffer from SAD caused by stress also experience depression in other forms throughout the year. 

As teens spend more and more time indoors during the cold months, more attention is shifted towards school, work and extracurriculars; all possible to induce high levels of stress and anxiety. 

When teenagers begin to develop symptoms of SAD, school performance is negatively impacted, altering interest in activities and disrupting concentration. 

SAD can be damaging to any teenager’s typical lifestyle and affects up to 5.5% of people from the ages of 9-19. SAD can last up to 40% of the year, however there are many solutions people can take to treat or prevent SAD. 

 Getting as much time outside as possible, exercising and journaling can all help reduce seasonal depression. 

For those experiencing SAD for longer periods of time, medication, speaking to a professional and light therapy can be effective.