Feeling Down? Seasonal Depression May Be to Blame


Senior Chris Kyle is feeling down on a bitter winter day.

When are you happiest? Is it in the presence of friends? is it during a family vacation?

Or maybe, like many others, you may be the happiest during a specific season during the year.

Along with that, however, comes the issue of seasonal depression.

What is seasonal depression? It may mean different things to different people; however, the idea is always the same. Whether it be in the summer, fall, spring or winter, seasonal depression is feeling down based on the specific weather of the different seasons of the year.

“Weather on individual days impacts me most of the time,” said sophomore Grace MarĂ©. “I remember one day last winter when I woke up and saw that is was freezing and windy, it put me in a grumpy mood all day. I just wanted to crawl into a warm blanket and hibernate.”

For Maré, the weather and her emotions are closely linked. Summer weather is more opportune for her.

Although the weather seems to affect different people in different ways, some have less emotionally connected ideas about the weather.

“I don’t get sad when it’s snowing,” said sophomore Faith Poling. “I get sad when I’m cold. If I’m warm on a snowy day, I’m still in a good mood.”

For Poling, as long as the weather isn’t physically bothering her, she’s content rain or shine.

Paola Valladares, who has a seven-year-old son, has experienced seasonal depression from a third-person view. Oftentimes, she notices how the weather affects him more than herself.

“My son hates [winter] because I don’t let him play outside,” Valladares said. “He ends up playing video games a lot, even though he has indoor soccer on Sundays.”

Although she notices it in her son, seasonal depression also affects her. She isn’t a fan of drab or gloomy Colorado winters.

“It’s crazy that one day it can be in the seventies and then another it can be a snowstorm,” said Valladares. “I get home at five-thirty and it’s already dark. I always love going on walks but when it’s dark, it feels like I would rather go to sleep.”

Others, such as senior Anna Zapel, recall seasonal depression as an odd childhood memory. She reminisces on those times in entertained fondness.

“I used to wake up on a cloudy day and automatically feel less motivated,” said Zapel. “I felt less sociable, lazier, and more likely to make excuses.”

Although the hints of seasonal depression reveal themselves to her, she’s sure not to let them get her down or unhappy.

“On cloudy days, I feel less happy for sure, but I can still make a good day out of a gloomy one by hanging with friends or seeing a movie,” Zapel said. “The winter definitely used to get me down, and I just wasn’t in a happy mood all that often.”

Seasonal depression is clearly an apparent issue worming its way into many students’ and teachers’ lives. Some may feel it’s effects on a daily basis, others may not. However, seasonal depression is something that can be beaten back with a positive attitude. All that is needed is a few good friends, and a firm acceptance that the weather will do its thing, and you’ll do yours.