Living in Edmonton, the winter months can be tough and cold. Reaching up to temperatures of -30 C, cold winds, and lots of ice on the roads, people in Edmonton have to do a lot to keep warm and stay safe. With all these factors, some people can work around it. However, there are others who struggle with these obstacles and can experience Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as the winter blues.
SAD is considered a mood disorder in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms. The signs and symptoms are subtle, but you can notice them from day-to-day contact. You can notice different activity from friends and family when they start doing things they normally don’t do. Possible signs include withdrawal from social activity and difficulty concentrating on or completing tasks, along with many others.
There are many ways to to deal with SAD. The best ways are exercising, getting vitamin D, or going outside to get sunlight. If you aren’t outside or around sunlight, a therapist can prescribe you to use a therapy lamp. “I wanted to give it a try, because we’re in a room with no windows,” says Megan Broduer. “It’s dark when you go to work and dark when you leave work and there’s not really a lot of chance for us to see sunlight.” Since Megan got her lamp, she has noticed a difference when she turns it on and doesn’t feel as depressed.
If you have any signs of winter depression and you notice it’s affecting your work, you should contact a therapist and they can offer advice to help you. At NAIT, there are counsellors that can help students to make sure they are not struggling with their classes.