If you live in an area where you experience all four seasons, you must be aware of what Seasonal Affective Disorder (seasonal depression) is and you have probably have been affected by it a time or two. Seasonal depression is a mood disorder characterized by depression that occurs at the same time every year. Most cases are seen in late winter or early spring. It's generally a self-diagnosis and is very common. There are more than 3 million cases in the United States every year.
The symptoms of this disorder are feeling depressed most days, sluggish, hopeless, worthless or guilty. Basically, the winter weather sucks and seasonal depression makes you want to stay inside curled up in bed all day while wishing it was warm and sunny and you were outside.
This winter I have taken on exercising as a way to get avoid seasonal depression and it really has worked for me. I go to the gym at least 3-4 times a week with a group of my friends to lose weight and get better bodies for our upcoming senior week trip in June. Exercising has given me something to do this winter instead of laying in bed. When I am dispirited on a Sunday afternoon and there is nothing to do, I love to go to the gym. I thrive for losing weight and eating healthy now so that I can prepare myself for the warm weather, while I am also getting away from seasonal depression by finding an indoor hobby that makes me happy.
The satisfying realization about seasonal depression is that it is not permanent. If you are suffering from seasonal depression right now and feel like you're just in an endless black hole of despair and sadness, don't give up. The hard times will pass and even though it may not seem like it, the sun will shine again.