Be aware of seasonal depression



Seasonal depression is an actual thing. Not wanting to get out of bed, or do anything but watch TV is common, especially for college students over winter break.

But what happens when this is an everyday occurrence? You might have everything you could ever want: family, friends, a roof over your head and a boyfriend or girlfriend ; but something still feels like it is missing.

One thing that could be missing is the chemical balance in the brain. Many people struggle with depression, and cannot just “suck it up,” or “try getting out of the house.”

But for those who are not sure if they are just going through a slump, or have a type of mental illness, there is a difference between depression and just being sad. Because depression is a mental illness, it is a lot harder to understand than a physical illness like high cholesterol.

With the help from Good Magazine, or known as a magazine for the global citizen, I stumbled upon a TedEd video that helps fill in some voids about depression, and may help you too.

“One major source of confusion is the difference between having depression and feeling depressed,” according to the TedEd video by Helen M. Farrell. “Almost everyone feels down from time to time.”

Depression won’t go away just because you want it to, and it affects many Americans. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), in 2014, an estimated 15.7 million adults, aged 18 or older, had at least one major depressive episode in the past year in the United States.

I have lost count on how many times I wanted to shake myself and say, “Just get over it.” But that is not how it works. Depression is the monster in the corner of the room throwing harsh criticisms and lack of self worth at you.

“In the United States, close to 10 percent of the population struggles with depression,” according to Mike Albo with Good Magazine. “But sometimes it can take a long time for someone to even understand that they are suffering.”

If you have even considered that have depression please read on. Health Communities states that there are nine signs one might be depressed: inescapable sadness, diminished interest in activities, unexpected weight gain or loss, insomnia or extreme sleepiness, Psychomotor Symptoms (unintentional and purposeless motions), fatigue, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, diminished ability to concentrate and suicidal ideation.

Yes it is hard, and a little embarrassing, to admit to your doctor you think you might be depressed. But it is even more embarrassing when your roommate finds you on the couch, having not moved for 12 hours, and that you haven’t showered for four days.

Depression isn’t just being ungrateful for life, or having a bad month, it is an illness. According to Health Communities, “Causes of depression are thought to be a combination of brain chemistry, genetic factors (heredity), and environmental factors.”

Dealing with depressing is tough, but mental illness is not something you can escape alone, and millions of Americans feel the same way. If you believe you, or a friend, may be depressed get help before it is too late. Talk to your doctor and don’t be afraid to speak up, I am certainly glad I did.