The Truth About SAD

Struggling through the pandemic with seasonal depression

Olivia Palmer, Business Manager and Staff Reporter

Mental health is a common struggle for many teens across the country. Everyone has their own struggles that they get through on the daily and deal with in their own ways. My personal and recent struggle is seasonal depression.

Seasonal Affective Disorder, or more commonly known as seasonal depression or SAD, is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons, specifically winter time. It is most notably caused by the hours of the day being cut short and there being fewer hours of daylight. According to, almost six out of every 100 teens suffer from seasonal depression.

While many people know me to be a bubbly and excited person, my energy becomes drained when winter hits, and it becomes difficult to get out of bed, make actual social plans or have genuine motivation. With Covid-19 and the pandemic happening on top of that, the challenges have become even more overwhelming.

The thing that stinks about seasonal depression is that I actually do want to do things. I want to see my friends. I want to care about my school work. I want to have genuine motivation. It is just so physically draining to do so. Feeling hopeless and drained is such an upsetting feeling, so I have searched for solutions and ways to cope during these months and the feelings I am experiencing.

Finding ways to cope with seasonal depression has made it a lot easier to deal with it and keep it in check. I love watching t.v. shows like Criminal Minds or America’s Next Top Model. I also find joy in reading books and baking when I am able to. Finding an activity that I  enjoy to do when feeling mentally low is such a nice thing to fall back on.

In addition to doing hobbies on my own, I have to make sure I maintain my relationships with family and friends and not close off the people around me. Putting in the effort to connect with others may be hard, but forcing myself to do so allows me to break my shell of no motivation and isolation. I have to remind myself that closing myself off from the people I love will inevitably hurt me more than help me in the long run. Even if it’s hard, I have to consciously find the positives throughout my day and see those moments that inspire me. Finding something to keep going and stay inspired while also being open about my feelings with my friends and family keeps me going and helps push me through the tough months.

For people that don’t struggle with seasonal depression but know someone that does, please be understanding. We do want to hang out with you and text you back, but sometimes it just takes too much, mentally, to do so. Make sure to still check in on your friends, but don’t be too overbearing. A simple “I’m here for you” or “I care about you” can be just enough for someone, but also be prepared if they need to sit down and spill all those feelings to you. Being there for us is amazing and greatly appreciated.