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As The Seasons Change, So Will Your Mood

As the days grow short and colder some people may start to feel a little down.  October for Missouri State Universities’ counseling office is one of the busiest times of the year. Many are stressed by the increased workload and midterms. However some suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, a condition that comes with the change of season.  KSMU’s Matthew Barnes reports. 

Roughly 30 percent of the people who enter the Counseling and Testing Center for Missouri State have reported some kind of depression.   Doug Griener is director of the counseling center.

“We tend to see a lot of people in October for anxiety, concerns about grades, some depression,” says Griener.

One of the reasons is Seasonal Affective Disorder, which usually takes hold around the fall, according to Griener. 

“So people tend to be more impacted by less sunlight. So they may notice that in the fall or in the winter in particular as the nights are longer, there is less sun, they may feel more down or depressed. And that may cause them to seek out help,” says Griener.

A drop in energy, change in appetite and avoiding socials situations are just some of the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, according to Griener. It can also cause health problems in long term situations if not dealt with. However, there are several ways to help fight off the condition.

“Some people will use, there called sun boxes. Where it gives a person light, not necessarily like a tanning bed, but it’s a particular type of light that we use and some people find that quite helpful. Other people will turn to more traditional ways of trying to cope with the Seasonal Affective Disorder  that may include exercise, getting active dietary changes, things like that, that they find elevates there mood too,” says Griener.

Seasonal Affective Disorder can also happen near the end of winter. For KSMU News, I’m Matthew Barnes.