Fall is near, and for some, so is Seasonal Affective Disorder

As the end of the year approaches nights grow longer, days get colder, exams creep up, and the holidays shrink our wallets. This happens every year, and for some, Seasonal Affective Disorder comes with it.

SAD is a periodic depression that occurs around the same time each year, often during a change of seasons. In pop culture, the song “Summer Depression” by Girl in Red references this condition and was inspired by the artist’s own experience with it.

However, it’s uncommon to experience seasonal affective disorder during the summer months according to LCCC guidance counselor Lauren Falgout.

“We typically see an increase in seasonal affective disorder coming into the colder months,” Falgout said. “Days are shorter, finals are closer and major holidays line up and can be a cause of stress. So it’s a sort of build up.”

Recently many that experience SAD have voiced stronger concerns because of the coronavirus lockdowns. These fears aren’t unfounded, said Falgout.

“The coronavirus has ultimately complicated all aspects of life,” Falgout said, “Because of lockdowns less coping mechanisms are available, and people are coming into the season already more stressed out than usual.”

One LCCC student, Meg Gizinski says “My birthday usually falls under my SAD period. I would typically go out to a late dinner with friends, but with most places having so many restrictions, I most likely will stay indoors this year and isolate as a result of feeling like I have no options.”

Thankfully for students like Gizinski, there’s ways of managing SAD. Falgout suggests managing a healthy diet and exercise schedule, reaching out to family, finding coping mechanisms, and seeking help for your mental health with professionals.

If you are dealing with SAD, talk to the LCCC guidance office to get started on ways of coping. Or call 610 799-1895 with questions.