STORY BY MARITSSA AGUILAR, STAFF WRITER
PHOTO BY MONICA BADOLIAN, STAFF WRITER
Cypress College students are affected by seasonal depression, a type of depression that typically occurs within young adults during this time of year.
Seasonal depression, also known as SAD, tends to occur around colder months of the year and increases with the time shift from daylight savings.
According to John Hopkins Medicine, SAD begins developing during adulthood and increases with age. A chemical change in the brain due to less sunlight and shorter days are thought to be part of the cause of SAD.
Students at Cypress College revealed they do have seasonal depression, but it “comes and goes”.
Kimberly Hernandez, a criminal justice major on campus, said that sometimes she does experience SAD during this time of year, “I usually want to be alone and lay down and sleep in bed.”
Other students including Macy Quenga majoring in chemistry said she suffers from general depressive symptoms so,“Seasonal depression doesn’t affect me neither does the weather change.” She also mentioned that her depression, which is not the seasonal depression others experience, is what affects her most.
SAD is more than just “winter blues”, according to the American Psychiatric Association, but symptoms can be overwhelming as they interfere with daily functioning. “About five percent of adults in the U.S. experience SAD and it typically lasts about 40 percent of the year”.
When asked if she noticed any change with her mood during a specific month or weather change, Hernandez said, “Not really, it just comes and goes, it’s been like that for years.”
A coping mechanism Hernandez said helps her get through her seasonal depression is going to therapy. “Being in therapy helped, I was used to it and going along with it.” Although she is not in therapy anymore she learned ways to cope.
Like previously mentioned most people get SAD in winter which is what Mia Perez majoring in animation also agreed with.
Perez also associates experiencing SAD with the passing of her father when she was ten, saying “It reminds me of the overall times I went through back then.”
The common symptoms of this type of depression include, “Feeling sad, changes in appetite, change in sleep, loss of energy, difficulty concentrating, and feelings of worthlessness,” according to the APA.
Perez revealed that she develops the same symptoms, but tries to prevent them by reminding herself that “It’s going to be over soon” considering she’s been through it before and having a good support system like friends and family helps her through it.
While Perez associates her seasonal depression with the weather and said, “It usually lasts until April because it’s still cold,” Quenga said her depression isn’t associated with cold weather.
Overall, there are several ways to combat seasonal depression and students at Cypress have learned which remedies work best for them to cope with their feelings of loneliness and sadness as the weather changes.