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Seasonal Affective Disorder

Students studying for mid-terms, finals or even finishing up a paper can feel stressed and overwhelmed.  They may be irritable, anxious, sad and tired.  These can be typical responses to stress that will be alleviated once mid-terms are over.  However, for some students these symptoms continue to persist and worsen.  Symptoms that persist and worsen during the fall and winter months may be a sign of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  SAD symptoms are:

Seasonal Affective Disorder appears in the fall and winter months due to the diminishing exposure to sunlight.  SAD affects about 5-13% of the population.  The Mayo Clinic states that the decrease in sunlight affects circadian rhythm, serotonin and melatonin levels.

SAD can have a significant impact on a student's well-being and academic success.  SAD is a real condition with treatment options which include:

If you notice a student exhibiting symptoms of SAD, suggest s/he visit the Student Health Clinic or the Counseling Center.  Symptoms of SAD are also symptoms of medical issues (i.e. thyroid, chronic viral illness, chronic fatigue syndrome) so it is important to see a medical doctor or mental health provider. 


To learn more about Seasonal Affective Disorder, please check out these resources: 

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