Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in Teens
Mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety, can affect adolescents as well as adults. One type of depression that tends to affect people of all ages in winter is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD usually occurs during the shorter winter months because we have less exposure to sunlight, which could affect the way the brain delivers melatonin and serotonin.
Signs of SAD in youth can include:
- Changes in mood outside of normal mental health
- Low energy, especially during the day
- Changes in eating, for example skipping meals or choosing to do more snacking
- Less time socializing with family and friends
- Difficulty concentrating in school
These signs could also indicate other mental health struggles, but they might be exaggerated during the wintertime. If you know a person or adolescent who struggles with SAD, reaching out to a doctor is the best first step, so they can recommend possible therapies. Other ways to help those with SAD include encouraging them to get more exercise, eat healthier, develop a sleep routine, and spend more time with loved ones.
To learn more, check out the resources below.
- TeensHealth: Seasonal Affective Disorder
- Boston Children’s Health Physicians: Seasonal Affective Disorder
- Lurie Children’s Hospital: What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
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