The days are getting shorter, sunlight is fading, and many people’s serotonin is disappearing. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), better known as seasonal depression, is a common form of depression. SAD, specifically winter-pattern, symptoms can include weight-gain and over-eating, hypersomnia, low-energy, and social withdrawal (for more information go to https://www.nimh.nih.gov). In a survey done by a member of The Buzz, 38 individuals ranging from teens to middle-aged adults responded to whether or not they struggled with seasonal depression; 29 of which replied “yes” and nine said “no”. For those who responded “yes,” a handful shared their experiences with SAD.
The change between summer and winter takes long hours of the sun away. The lack of the sun is something many struggle with. One person shared that they feel trapped and it affects their productivity. Another downfall is the lack of Vitamin D. Lower levels of this vitamin have been found in individuals with SAD. During the winter, it is hard to intake Vitamin D through the sun, making it not only important to eat fruit and take vitamin supplements for seasonal depression, but Vitamin D deficiencies have also been linked to other mental disorders and health issues.
A hardship mentioned by multiple people was motivation. There is little to no motivation to get anything done. Tasks that may seem as simple as cleaning a bedroom or bathroom, personal hygiene, and getting out of bed become a chore. One student mentioned they either cannot get out of bed or end up crawling back in constantly, making it hard to even leave the house. Activities like drawing, writing, and sports that usually bring happiness do not cause any feelings at all.
While experiencing SAD, emotions and thoughts are often unstable. Unpredictable mood swings and invalidating thoughts can be exhausting. The doubts and fears of being dramatic leave a feeling of guilt. Always having to battle their own emotions and trying to act normal, while not knowing why their mood is constantly changing is aggravating.
Finally, a few people shared how their depression affects others. They fear they become a burden to their loved ones. One experience that stuck out was having seasonal depression during the holidays and how hard it is to try and be happy around relatives. It is frustrating to feel upset when everyone else is in a cheery mood.
SAD and all mental illnesses and disorders are nothing to be ashamed of. Plenty of people struggle with mental health issues. Although seasonal depression is a common disorder, everyone experiencing it deserves help. When symptoms become more extreme, it is critical to reach out. For anyone feeling suicidal and alone, please reach out to a teacher, counselor, or call 800-273-8255. There is always someone who cares.
The color of the leaves has started to fade, the first flakes of snow have begun to settle, and the familiar feeling of festivity has returned. The holiday season is finally upon the students of Bonneville High School; however, the question of exactly which holiday season is approaching continually puzzles people across the country. Thanksgiving is infamously situated just a month before Christmas, resulting in contention among the population as to which should be celebrated first. Some families choose to decorate their homes for Christmas before they celebrate Thanksgiving, while others decide to hold off setting up decorations until after the feasts have concluded. The Bonneville Buzz reached out to a couple members of the staff and the student body to find out how they choose to celebrate the neighboring holidays.
Keridwen Tyler is currently a senior attending Bonneville whose holiday preferences greatly contrast her preferred order of celebration. When asked whether she favored Thanksgiving or Christmas, she responded, “I definitely prefer Christmas, because I hate Thanksgiving.” Tyler’s disdain for the food associated with the season makes the holiday less-than-ideal for her, although it has developed little to no drama among her family members. However, despite her distaste for the day of gratitude, Tyler believes that Christmas festivities should take place after Thanksgiving because “... even though I don’t like Thanksgiving, I think it should have its time to shine.” In Tyler’s eyes, the seasons each deserve a moment in the spotlight, regardless of her aversion to the former.
While one student’s opinion has led them to believe that Christmas should only be celebrated after Thanksgiving, one teacher believes the exact opposite. Mrs. Pogue is a new English teacher at Bonneville. She maintains her belief that Thanksgiving and Christmas can equally coexist, with the latter still beginning on the first of November. As expected, Pogue favors Christmas over Thanksgiving, saying, “... I just love the all-around feel of it. I feel like people are kinder during Christmas time, people think more about others than themselves around [this season], and it’s so warm and cozy too! It’s so much nicer.” Pogue loves Thanksgiving as well and believes the holidays should be celebrated in tandem at Bonneville.
A fact that few can deny is that both Thanksgiving and Christmas bring feelings of comfort and familiarity. Whichever season one prefers to celebrate first does not change the traditions that they and their families have established in their homes. Bonneville’s student body should do well to maintain the feeling of festivity during these upcoming holiday seasons.
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