Temperatures are Dropping and so are Serotonin Levels

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Temperatures are Dropping and so are Serotonin Levels

Hailey Bell, Cen10 News Reporter

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Seasonal depression, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, is the storm brewing all year, just waiting to strike innocent people all over the world. Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD is a type of depression that follows the seasons, usually at the same time every year. Have you ever wondered why you feel more down in the winter? SAD might explain why!

According to American Family Physician, an online medical journal, “SAD may be related to the amount of daylight we get.” This could explain their statistic that SAD is more common in the northern states. They claim SAD was seven times more common in Washington state than in Florida, the proclaimed Sunshine State. Because of the lack of sunlight in the winter, your brain produces less serotonin and more melatonin, completely altering your normal chemical makeup.

This chemical change should be checked by a doctor to insure your safety. In order to diagnose Seasonal Affective Disorder the Mayo Clinic, an American non-profit academic medical center, says that doctors may administer a physical exam and make sure there is not a pre-existing health condition or injury that may be causing feelings of depression. They also may take blood to check your thyroid or administer a psychological evaluation to check the signs for depression and your recent feelings and behavior. 

While the American Family Physician claims that SAD doesn’t usually affect people younger than 20, Your Teen For Parents, a website designed to give parents advice on how to deal with teenage issues, says SAD doesn’t just affect adults. I personally believe that teens are just as susceptible, if not more than adults to get SAD because of the stress of school, friendships and family. There’s no age limit to having a chemical imbalance and should be treated the same no matter what age.

In conclusion, seasonal depression can affect anyone and should be treated seriously. If you or someone you know are feeling like this, ask your doctor about it or tell a trusted adult.

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