How Seasonal Affective Disorder impacts local students


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — If you’re feeling extra tired, depressed or just sad for no reason recently, you may be experiencing symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

With more than 3 million cases in the US every year, you may have Seasonal Affective Disorder without knowing it.

OTC’s Assistant Dean of Students Andrew Goodall says it is harder for students to go to class during the colder months.

“We do see an increase in appointments to the counseling center, a lot of students are seeking resources, assistance, to try to cope with these increased stressors and how they’re feeling,” Goodall said.

Clinical Psychologist Doctor Curtis Mattson says SAD symptoms are very similar to any other type of depression.

“Problems with fatigue, having trouble sleeping, appetite changes, loss of interest in activities,” Mattson said. “The lack of exposure to sunlight actually reduces serotonin.”

Mattson and Goodall said there are a few different ways to try to gain that serotonin back.

“Part of depression is when you’re less active and you’re oversleeping and you’re just kind of just laying around not doing things,” Mattson said. “Part of that behavior change can be just getting out and doing more things.”

“Increased activity, and socialization,” Goodall said. “That’s something that students find refreshing and reviving to them.”

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