SHS students prone to Seasonal affective Disorder because of location


Vaniesa Orjasen

Making sure you have enough vitamin D helps decrease the chances of SAD.

Vaniesa Orjansen, Journalist

Living in Minnesota depression during the changes in the seasons is something that is very common. Sartell High School students who are struggling with Seasonal Affective Disorder don’t have to suffer. 

Seasonal affective disorder(SAD) is a depression that is caused by the changes in seasons. Most symptoms are during the winter months but a lot of the symptoms start in the late fall and end in the early spring. SAD tends to sap energy and makes you feel moody. 

Senior, Tori Gaida explains how the winter season affects her energy, “ I do not go outside and I am very unmotivated to do things I would normally enjoy.”

According to the Mayo Clinic website, in most cases SAD goes away during the sunnier days of spring and summer. In most cases SAD appears during the colder seasons but there are some cases of SAD that appear during the summer months; these cases are uncommon and most are heard about. In both cases of SAD, symptoms tend to start mild and progress more severe as the season progresses. 


I am not as sad as I was last winter because it is not as cold, I am less motivated and a little more fat. ”

— Mathieu Jobin, Junior

Some signs and symptoms of SAD may include: 

  • feeling depressed most of the day, most days
  • Low energy
  • Losing interest in activity you once enjoyed
  • Problems sleeping
  • Difficulty concentrating 
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty
  • Feeling sluggish or agitated
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide

Symptoms of SAD during Fall and Winter:

  • Oversleeping
  • Appetite changes, craving for foods high in carbohydrates
  • Weight gain
  • Tiredness or low energy

Symptoms of SAD during Spring and Summer

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Poor appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Agitation or anxiety

I do have SAD, the doctor diagnosed me with it not long ago. ”

— Hunter Rademacher, Freshman

The Specific cause of Seasonal Affective Disorder is not known. There are some factors that come into play. Some factors include your biological clock (Circadian rhythm) and/or the reduced levels of sunlight in the late fall and winter may cause SAD. The decrease in sunlight disrupts your body’s internal clock and leads to a feeling of depression. 

I do get more tired and less motivated during the winter months. ”

— Chad Sanborn, Sophomore

A drop in serotonin may also cause SAD. Serotonin is a chemical in the brain(neurotransmitter) that affects mood. Drop in sunlight can also cause a drop in serotonin that trigger depression. 

The change in season can also disrupt the balance of the body’s level of melatonin which plays a role in sleep patterns and mood.