Most people can agree that the winter season can make people a little more down in the dumps. Others aren’t affected by it at all. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, About 4 to 6 percent of people may have winter depression. Another 10 to 20 percent may have mild Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Asking someone if they have depression can go multiple ways. Some people are fully upfront about it. “Yes, I do believe I am affected by it,” said Lexi Lange ’24. “My family and I can sometimes notice the difference in my moods as the seasons change.” Others can’t tell if they do or not. “ Kind of…,” said an anonymous student, “I wouldn’t really say yes or no.”
The winter months can affect different people in a variety of ways, and according to Northwestern Medicine, the body is not as effective at fighting a virus when cold air enters the nose and upper airways. “I think it affects people because they are more likely to get sick in the winter meaning they have to skip school and can fall behind on school,” said Joey Schroeder ’25. “Getting behind on school can stress some kids out because of bad grades,” said Schroeder. With the competition of GPA and class placement, one A- can drop you down 40 places, so missing class time and having grades drop can be a big stressor in students’ lives.
A decrease in sunlight has been shown to disrupt your body’s internal clock and lead to feelings of depression, according to Mayo Clinic. So how can we beat the “slump” in the wintertime? For Victoria Viteri 23,’ she’s been about looking forward to things. “Going to a basketball game, or having a study session with friends to pass the time,” Viteri said. “I have to prioritize my weekends, and take time to be with friends.”
If you’re struggling with depression or know someone who might be feel free to contact these numbers.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
National Hopeline Network: 1-800-442-4673.