Seasonal Depression is more than an excuse

Column By J1 Reporter Mia Ramirez


Weeks once filled with the beaming sunshine on my skin have turned into countless hours of staring at my screen as it lit up my face, while the sun set at 4:45pm. 

Before I know it my room is completely dark, and I lay my head down on my desk in defeat of the long winter. As I sit in class and ponder why I can’t keep my motivation, I realize that the shift from Fall to Winter has begun.

 Bright smiles and laughter have been overtaken by gloomy faces and murmurs that fill the hallways with complaints and unlucky test scores… myself included. Unfortunately, it’s that time of the year again for many. And it’s not our fault. 

“I’m tired.”

“Do you have aquaphor?”

“It’s sooo dark outside.”

Everyone knows the switch from Fall to Winter can be quite sickening, but why don’t we talk about the real effects it has on students? 

You probably realize a spike in the amount of people complaining about their lack of sleep, excessive need for aquaphor and the never ending hate for forecasts that only predict weather of 20 degrees or lower.

The transition from the warm seasons to a dark and dreary winter can be pretty depressing. I would consider myself as quite the experienced student who has dealt with a whole 3 years of winter finals, and let me tell you there is just no time to adapt our brains to these sudden changes. I am positive that this wave of unmotivation is real. 

As students, the change of seasons does tend to decrease our motivation, and sometimes we might even blame the weather for our mood swings. However, is that really seasonal depression?

 I find it interesting how quick we are to blame our lack of motivation on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). I’m no doctor or therapist but I’m pretty positive you can’t give the diagnosis yourself…As a first hand victim of falling asleep while doing my homework because my whole room gets dark, or my sudden attention span of a squirrel comes out, I can say I do struggle from seasonal unmotivation. 

This does not mean I’m necessarily classified under those who are suffering from this illness. SAD usually affects those who already struggle from some sort of diagnosed depression.

We tend to romanticize the very real nightmare of millions for a simpler case of seasonal unmotivation. 

There’s a negative element in the art of how our brains can convince ourselves of just about anything. Anything you stick up there stays and sticks around until you riddle it to be true…or at least you want it to be. 

It’s pretty easy for some to cling onto a real diagnosis as a crutch for all your stress, and mental mayhem…But just because you’re dealing with the relatable effects of high school, does not mean you are struggling from the illness of seasonal affective disorder. 

There’s a fine line between the two, but why do we rely on the disorder to act as an aid for our own issues? It’s the midst of the year where students are cramming for finals, finishing papers and finalizing projects. Don’t get me wrong, I am also stressed, worried and probably sleeping less than I should but it’s not a reason to overuse the disorder as a supporting claim. 

All of these are negative components to the cold weather, yes, but it isn’t seasonal depression. We just yearn for answers and self solidifying reasons for why we feel the way we do. 

Oftentimes we confuse our own complaining and heavy eyes on the very real nightmare that an estimated “5 percent” of the US population suffer from. 

Next time you see that girl put her head down in class, make sure you let her know that there’s only a few more months ‘til we feel the warmth again.

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