By Joanna Quintanilla
With so many students coming from Sunny SoCal to Hazy Humboldt, could the lack of a steady flow of sunlight lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in students?
“I think it could,” says Ann Valdes, an art history major from Southern California. “You walk outside and see that it’s nothing but clouds; it doesn’t give you the same energy that a sunny day would.”
How many of have felt energized and happy by just walking outside and seeing that the sun has decided to pop out from behind the clouds?
So does the lack of sun everyday cause SAD in our colleagues from SoCal?
“Not necessarily,” comments Elizabeth Welton, a postgraduate resident here at the HSU Counseling Center. “Some people are more prone to depression than others, but the case is that [SAD] is just more likely to emerge; not be caused.”
For some students SAD is just one of the many conditions perused in a psychology textbook or has barely been heard of.
“I don’t know much about it,” says Kyrie Hood a film major from Southern California. “But since it’s mostly cold here I figure that students are more likely to get it or that it’s possible to have it and not be aware.”
If you or a friend is dealing with SAD or depression helping or dealing with it can be easy.
“A way to help with SAD is simple,” says Welton. “Get as much sunlight as possible, exercise, plan and maintain a healthy sleeping regimen. The best antidote for SAD and depression in general, is connection.”
True many of us would rather bathe in the sun than go to class, and in the case of treating SAD it could be a great benefit. As well as feeling connected to the school, the people there, is important when adjusting to college. Knowing that you have friends you can go to for help or a group for support like the ones available at CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) here on campus is important.
Depression is a serious issue; it can hurt and complicate your life and the lives of the people are you. Being aware of it for yourself and your friends is important.
“Know the red flags,” says Welton. “Mimics signs of depression, withdrawing socially, sleeping a lot, struggling to get out of bed or go to class, lack of motivation.”
If you or a friend ever feels that you have multiple resources to see what is best for you. If you feel that you or a friend need crisis intervention the best thing to do is call CAPS at (707) 826-3236 or Sempervirens Crisis Line (707) 445-7715.