Why the Cold Temperatures Are Getting You Down


There’s a reason you’re tired, and it’s not necessarily all the homework you’re putting off doing. In fact, it may not be your fault at all.

Seasonal Depression, or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression related to shorter daylight hours, according to American Psychiatric Association. While it affects everyone differently, some common symptoms include sadness, a marked loss of interest or pleasure, changes in weight and appetite, difficulty concentrating, and changes in sleep.

More serious effects include feeling worthless or guilty and thoughts of suicide. As it says on the American Psychiatric Association website, “it’s more than Winter blues.”

SAD, as explained on the Mayo Clinic website, is “linked to a biochemical imbalance in the brain prompted by shorter daylight hours and less sunlight in winter. As seasons change, people experience a shift in their biological internal clock or circadian rhythm that can cause them to be out of step with their daily schedule.”

More than three million cases a year are reported in the U.S., according to the Mayo Clinic.

Judah Ebanks 19’, from Grand Cayman Islands in the Caribbean, says that the change in weather definitely impacts his everyday attitude once Williston weather starts getting gray and cold.

“I’m always tired,” he said. “I go to bed much earlier and even after sleeping more than eight hours I still have trouble staying awake. It gets worse when I get back form Christmas break, because I get back from the beach to heaps of snow.”

Ben Farmer, who has lived in the Northeast for his entire life, admits that he also feels a drop of energy when November creeps up.

“My energy levels just go down, and I have much less patience that I usually have,” Farmer said. Luckily, Farmer, who ho works in Admissions and coaches the Varsity Basketball team, has found a few ways to cope with these symptoms.

“I exercise, I force myself to read a book, I clean my apartment, I basically find something to do that gets my mind off the negativity,” Farmer said.

So while there’s no way to stop the weather from turning or the rain and snow from falling, medical professionals from the Mayo Clinic suggests several ways to treat SAD, including talk therapy, exposure to sunlight, meditation, light therapy, and exercise.