As the cold, snowy weather native to North America reaches it’s end, many people are beginning to feel the effects of the new weather. Girls are trading in their old sweaters for chic tank tops and boys are investing in a new pair of cargo shorts.
Something about the sunshine and cool air have long brought about happier, brighter outlooks on life but according to scientists, the “winter blues” are more than just a state of mind. Bad weather cannot only affect a person’s clothing, but can also alter their state of mind.
Seasonal affective disorder, also known by its appropriate acronym, SAD, is a psychological condition in which a person may experience seasonal depression during periods of bad weather.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, “SAD has been linked to a biochemical imbalance in the brain prompted by shorter daylight hours and less sunlight in winter. As seasons change, people experience a shift in their biological internal clock […] that can cause them to be out of step with their daily schedule.”
Website mentalhealthamerica.net said, “SAD is more common in people living far from the equator where there is less daylight hours in the winter. The most difficult months for people with SAD in the US seem to be January and February.”
This proves dually horrible for students living far from the equator, such as the students in northeast Ohio. With AP testing week upon some high school students and the bipolar weather constantly threatening the sanctity of springtime, students suffering from SAD can find themselves at the mercy of extreme stress.
Consult a doctor if signs of depression become apparent during periods of cloudy weather. Besides prescription medication, Vitamin D tablets can brighten symptoms of SAD as well as special UV lights.