Yes, Seasonal Depression Is Real, And No, You're Not Alone

Yes, Seasonal Depression Is A Real Thing, And No, You're Not Alone

About five percent of the U.S. population experience symptoms of seasonal depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) every single year.

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Well, here we are again. Another holiday season has come and passed and the only thing that's merry and bright in my life right now is the Christmas tree in my living room, still lit up as if Christmas wasn't three weeks ago. Being a Midwesterner has its highs and lows. It's nice being able to count on snow at least once before Christmas, but it's awful knowing you've got at least six snowstorms coming at you in the three and a half months following. It's hard keeping spirits high when every day is gray and cold.

If you notice your mood lagging down more than usual around this time of year, you are not alone.

About five percent of the U.S. population experience symptoms of seasonal depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) every single year. That's about 16.5 million people.

So, what is SAD exactly? It's a subtype of depression that comes and goes with the seasons, but most people experience it during the winter months. It can make you feel fatigued, low energy, moodiness, and a number of other symptoms. Essentially, it reinforces your already-lazy winter behavior, and it makes you want to stay in bed for the rest of the season. It can really suck the life out of you.

There are several different methods that have been known to help treat SAD. First, you should talk to your doctor about what you're feeling and be honest with them and yourself. Your doctor might prescribe a new medication or perhaps some physical activity. Keep an open mind to their suggestions, even if you're feeling discouraged about your mental health. It's a complicated headspace to be in, but don't let it get the best of you. Your doctor wants to help guide you to a peaceful place in your mind, so be open to suggestions and advice, even though you know what's best for you in the long run.

Many people who have SAD say the best treatment is sunlight. During the winter months indoors, there isn't a lot of exposure to direct sunlight, which is a good source of vitamin D in humans! When there's that lack of vitamin D, you'll begin to feel sluggish. I'm aware not everyone has the budget or time to schedule a mid-winter vacation due to lack of positive energy, but you still need to set aside time devoted to making yourself feel good. You might also consider investing in a light-therapy energy lamp! These lamps emit bright white light that helps your boosts your mood and make you feel like you've been laying on the beach all morning.

No matter what's got you down this winter, remember that it is only a few more months until we're back to sunny and 75-degree weather. Do your best to make the most of the cold months! Enjoy leggings and hot-coffee season while it lasts and keep your chin up! Summer is just around the corner.

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Poetry On Odyssey: Depression Isn't Taken Seriously Until You Commit Suicide

According to society, until you commit suicide, your feelings aren't valid.

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"You're only seeking attention." Until you commit suicide.

"You just want everybody to feel sorry for you." Until you commit suicide.

"You're not actually stressed out." Until you commit suicide.

"You don't actually feel that way." Until you commit suicide.

"What do you even have in your life to be depressed about?" Until you commit suicide.

"You're just not trying hard enough to be happy." Until you commit suicide.

"You just like to complain about your problems." Until you commit suicide.

"Depression isn't real." Until you commit suicide.

"Your life can't be that hard." Until you commit suicide.

"You have too many good things in your life to feel that way." Until you commit suicide.

"You're just trying to be negative." Until you commit suicide.

"You're just psycho." Until you commit suicide.

"You don't know what struggling really feels like." Until you commit suicide.

"The world doesn't revolve around you." Until you commit suicide.

"It's not like it's the end of the world." Until you commit suicide.

"You're not actually sad." Until you commit suicide.


No one takes your depression seriously, until...you commit suicide.


If this article hits home, it's okay to speak up. Seek help if you need it, you are not alone.

National Suicide Prevention Line: 1-800-273-8255

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