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Lack of Daylight Causes Seasonal Affective Disorder

For some, fall is the best time of the year. Trees changing color and leaves falling make some feel cozy. But for one KU student, fall is the beginning of a dark time.

“So for me, I find myself getting up and still being really tired,” Patrick McPharland said. “So, from about Halloween, to the end of the semester, I am focusing, forcing myself if you will, to be awake and focusing on things because your brain just isn’t where it should be.”

According to the mayo clinic, S.A.D. is is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons. One KU doctor said it’s not uncommon to have Seasonal Affective Disorder.

“It certainly is a type of mood decrease or depression,” Dr. Myra Strother said. “We see it happen with a lot of people about this time of the year, a lot of people start feeling more tired, more hungry, their mood is down, they seem to not have as much energy.”

Dr. Strother said Seasonal Affective Disorder is preventable and easily treatable.

“Certainly getting as much time in the sun as possible. So, lets say you’ve got an hour between classes…get out and walk in the sunshine if it’s a sunny day,” Strother said. “If you’re studying, try to sit by a window where you’re getting some sunshine.”

Dr. Strother also said if you feel like walking isn’t enough, you can purchase light boxes to give you more light.

If you’re exercising, eating healthy, getting a sufficient amount of sleep, and are still feeling depressed, then it may be time to visit your doctor for more help.