Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)


Winter picture by Canva

Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD is a disorder that affects people starting during the fall months until the winter months. SAD can cause feelings of sadness, depression, and moodiness. Many people think they are just feeling the “winter blues” when it could be SAD, and they need to take effective measures to maintain their moods.

SAD is more than just `winter blues’. Its symptoms can be very distressing, especially with the extra workload of school and extracurricular activities. Plus this year there is the added stress of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“SAD is a disorder that could affect us all just given the changes to our circadian rhythm and sleep during the winter months. A decrease in sunlight can upset the balance of our sleep patterns and let’s face it, we can all be a little grumpy with less sleep! 2020 presented many challenges and kept people indoors more often than not due to Covid. I think students thrive during their summer break, their time to soak in the sun and spend time with friends without the stress that school can bring. With a disruption of last summer being carried into winter, I think some of our students and staff are feeling SAD here at FHS absolutely,” explains Nurse Tiffany Roth of Farmington High School.

Feeling sad can lead to losing interest in things that we usually enjoy.

I think anytime we are disconnected from ourselves such as feeling more tired, withdrawn, or disinterested there will be an effect on learning. We are more easily distracted and lose focus which may result in poor grades during that time”

— Nurse Tiffany Roth

,” says Nurse Roth.

SAD can also lead to social isolation, substance abuse, and mental disorders.

Because of the high risk of COVID-19 last summer, many students weren’t able to fully enjoy their summer vacation by going outside. Instead, most teens spent most of their time indoors on their phones. Phones can lead to loneliness, this can add to the loneliness already added to our lives because of social distancing.

SAD is a problem now more than ever. We should not just let it be and let our moods as the winter months go on. There are effective steps that can be taken to reverse the effects of SAD so we can be more in control of our mental state.

There are ways we can prevent, or reverse the effects of SAD.

Getting sunlight during the winter months can help a lot. Also being physically active and eating the right nutrients can lead to an increase in a better mood. Participating in school sports or activities can prevent from students staying at home and being isolated.