Maybe you’re not just bummed out

The dark side of Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that affects 3 per cent of Canadians. Basically, it is a type of depression that happens because of certain changes with the seasons, and is mainly known for affecting people in the colder winter months, and can also occur in the warmer summer months too.

SAD usually acts up around the same times in the year, near the end of Fall, and in early Winter;  or in the case of Summer/Spring SAD it can occur near the end of Spring and the start of Summer. SAD is a subtype of major depression, and therefore the symptoms are mainly the same, the main thing that differentiates between the two is that major depression can occur at any time, whereas Seasonal Affective Disorder happens with the seasonal changes. However, both have similar symptoms; such as loss of interest in activities, fatigue, sadness almost every day, changes in appetite, and changes in sleep patterns.

There are a few known causes for SAD, such as not having enough serotonin, which is a big cause for most depression. Lack of melatonin is also another cause of SAD, as that can make sleeping difficult and can alter someone’s emotions. And the last one is just the seasons changing.

Some of the ways that a person can treat SAD are normal antidepressants and psychotherapy, but the most effective way to treat it is light therapy or taking vitamin D supplements.

In TRU we are very lucky to have a wellness centre. The wellness centre has many different things that can be utilized to help with problems. They have beanbag chairs that you can go relax in and maybe read a book. Counsellors you can talk to. Various health products. They are open Monday-Friday and are located in Old Main room 1479. Anyone is able to go in at any point in time.

If you struggle with SAD or any type of depression please don’t hesitate to go get help. Reach out to a therapist or even a friend if you don’t feel comfortable going to a therapist. You can also check out the TRU wellness centre. The TRU wellness centre offers multiple options for dealing with these issues, and many different counsellors you can go see.

If you or someone you know is struggling with any sort of depression or anxiety, here are some hotlines you can call

If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal – (1-800-784-2433), General crisis number 310-6789 (do not add any 250, or 778 in front), Information on panic attacks – (1-800-647-2642).