Coming out of seasonal depression

Kalen Stanford, Courier Staff

With winter coming to a close, many people are buzzing about the effects of seasonal depression. In my last article about seasonal depression, I gave a few tips on how to cope and get through it, however, we need to expand our discussion about it.

Personally, I struggle with my depression worse during the winter months, and I think this issue needs to be addressed in a more widespread manner. With many factors playing into seasonal depression, the worst I believe is the shorter days and less sunlight. Obviously, other factors have an effect as well, but many issues stem from these. In my experience during winter, I am rarely spending any time outside more than necessary, resulting in less vitamin D from the sunlight. This can lead to lack of motivation, sleeping more often and lack of personal hygiene.

I think we need to take into account the comparison of a person’s abilities during different seasons. In my experience, I will often skip class and miss assignments more often during the winter as opposed to spring and fall. While this may be a personal issue, I am sure others have had the same experience. Sometimes, I am aware of it happening, but most often,I do not care enough to go to counseling or take initiative in other ways. Almost as soon as the time changes in spring, I notice how bad I did over winter and have to make up for it. While I agree that these things should be taken care of on a personal level, it needs to be acknowledged on a social level. Schools should notice this happening with students and take initiative to help out.

Some things I could think of that schools could do is have mental health days or a leniency policy. Students that are struggling during winter months and acknowledge their lack of motivation should be able to explain to their professors that they are experiencing this and get some amount of days allowed off. While I am not saying the people struggling shouldn’t go to counseling or do other things to help their issues, other precautions should be put in place for those who feel they cannot do that.

I truly hope colleges will start acknowledging the issues that arise in their students lives. Colleges should work to be more helpful for students with disabilities, as the issues that go with them develop. In the future, as colleges progress, I hope precautions will be put in place for those of us that struggle mentally in college, but still have the drive to continue and get our degrees. Mental health is a serious issue in our society today, and while we have moved mountains in the progress of helping those of us with it, we still have a long way to go. If you are struggling with depression please do not hesitate to get help and end the stigma. Please refer to my las article on coping and getting through seasonal depression, and go to the counseling center on campus.