Editorial: Fighting seasonal depression
From The Lookout Staff
There is no denying the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the world: financially, physically and mentally.
People across the country have lost their jobs, housing and even loved ones. When faced with these hardships it is not uncommon to experience some level of depression.
With finals, the end of the semester and the holiday season imminent, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. After all, we are still in the middle of a global pandemic. The amount of daylight is decreasing as winter approaches. And the isolation needed to keep us safe can result in a loss of motivation.
So whether you are a student, professor, faculty member, parent, one of our readers or a combination of these, The Lookout staff wants to provide a few suggestions to help treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
According to the Mayo Clinic, SAD can be diagnosed by a doctor or mental health professional through a series of evaluations. Following are some of the clinic’s recommended treatments:
- Light therapy: During the winter months, there is a deprivation of sunshine. “Happylights,” or alternatives that mimic sunlight, help with a lack of vitamin D and change brain chemicals to improve mood.
- Medications: Antidepressants may be beneficial to those suffering from SAD or other forms of depression. Taking vitamin supplements, including vitamin D, is another way to increase “happy” brain chemicals, including serotonin and dopamine.
- Mind-body connection: Exercise and meditation get the body and mind moving, which is important when you can’t get outside as often during winter months. Developing new hobbies helps people treat SAD and keep busy during the pandemic and quarantine.
The Lookout staff knows this year has been tough, that’s why we want our readers to take care of themselves and their mental health.