It’s the season for seasonal depression

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of brief, seasonal depression that occurs around the same time every year, most commonly during winter.

According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention an estimated 10 million Americans are affected by this disorder. Anyone can get SAD. Although it is more common in women between the ages of 15 and 55, and those who live in colder climates.

“I always get super depressed summer to winter,” said Cadence Hooks, 22. “[I] cry myself to sleep, don’t want to get out of bed, hate the world, [and] question the point of living.”

Symptoms include feeling down, over sleeping, not being able to sleep, isolation, crying, over-eating junk food and hopelessness. Although many people self-diagnose, Clinical Psychologist Dr. Kate Thacher said it can be diagnosed through a mental health assessment. The signs are very similar to depression, but only occur during one season.

Although you may want to be left alone, Thacher said being alone could make you feel worse. Doctors suggest spending as much time outside as you can, try and interact with others for at least an hour a day, eat well, get exercise, and if symptoms still don’t improve to seek a counselor.