Many suffer a decrease in mood during the winter but don’t realize it is an actual condition

McCalee Cain, Lifestyles Editor

For many, the months of wintertime bring a gloomy funk. The winter blues are not uncommon, but unbeknownst to many, they are an actual condition.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a depression correlated with the changes in seasons. People afflicted with SAD become depressed during varying specific times of the year.  Symptoms include decrease in mood, lethargy, and limited willpower. Most people with SAD experience symptoms in the fall and winter months, and studies have indicated that most people with SAD are teens and young adults.

“I definitely go from being super happy like I am in the warmer times of the year to really down all the time in the winter,” sophomore Emma Dreier said. “The weather and the shorter days just really kill my mood.”

“Happy is associated with summer, I feel like, and gloomy is associated with winter. I feel so lazy in the wintertime,” junior Shelby Reif said.

Determining the difference between the winter blues and Seasonal Affective Disorder can be very difficult, and is disputed in the medical field. The most reliable way to know if it’s SAD is with a diagnosis from a therapist.

While many really feel down in the dark months of winter, some also experience just the opposite effect on their moods.

“I think my mood does change in the winter, but…it changes for the better,” junior Finan Lund-Andersen said. “In the wintertime, I get a lot happier because I have a lot more things to do, and I just get to ski all the time.”

Biologically, our bodies and minds      cannot help but be changed, even slightly, by the shifts in seasons. While the lack of sunlight can put you into a funk, there are still steps that can be taken to boost mood.

“I try not to let [the winter blues] affect me,” senior Desirae Samph said. “I don’t think something like the weather should affect how someone views life.”

*No subjects interviewed in this article have been diagnosed with SAD