Depression Low mood Mental Health Seasonal Affective Disorder

Winter blues

Abstract piece by Kehkashan Khalid, Summer Show

At this time of year many students experience the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, sometimes referred to as SAD. As the nights draw in, we can become more lethargic, lacking in energy or motivation. Your mood may drop. There can be the impulse to comfort eat more and to hide away.

Many of these symptoms can be indicative of SAD if they occur as the nights draw in, particularly after the clocks go back at the end of October. The lack of natural daylight can reduce levels of vitamin D and have a direct impact upon mood. Changes to sleep patterns are common.

Some people say they find using a light box can be helpful. These devices aim to emulate natural daylight. You may also wish to have a conversation with your GP to see if SAD could be having an impact on you. Remember it’s important not to self-diagnose. Have a conversation with your doctor to see what could be going on.

You may also wish to check out Mind’s useful summary on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD.) Mind is a national charity for the support of mental health.