Autumnal Afflictions: Telltale Signs of Seasonal Depression and How to Deal With It

As we’re finally entering Autumn and the temperature and leaves start to fall, it’s important to remember that it’s not just a head cold that can afflict you and the people you are surrounded by. Seasonal depression is usually associated with Winter, but in many cases, like mine, it begins in Autumn. 


The “official” name of this is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and no, I’m not making this up. In most cases, individuals who are affected will show signs and symptoms in many ways. They may:

  • Suffer from depression nearly every day for the majority of the day

  • Have lower energy than usual and feel sluggish

  • Experience weight fluctuation and changes in appetite

  • Sleep more than usual

  • Have difficulty concentrating on day to day tasks


All of these symptoms are nothing to be ashamed of or hide, in fact, seeing a doctor about this is highly recommended or even talking to your friends about it can help. 

Personally, I’ve found it very helpful to confide in my close friends during these times and use the counseling services here at CCU.


One factor that contributes to SAD is a new lack of sunlight due to the season change messing up your body’s internal clock. This reduction in sunlight can also cause the levels of Serotonin (happy juice) in your brain to drop.  The life of a college student is very busy but any time that the weather is permitting and you can dedicate the time to soaking up some rays, definitely take the chance. I’m not trying to say that sunlight will cure your depression, but I have found that it definitely helps when I go on walks or hikes with friends when I’m feeling down. And if you aren’t an outdoorsy type, maybe just sit by a window or any outside dining area and read or take care of some home work. The cooler temperatures will make it much easier to bear, especially in this South Carolina climate.


If you or anyone you know is experiencing symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, don’t hesitate to find assistance. SAD can be eased and in some cases totally prevented if caught early enough in its development. SAD isn’t unmanageable and with the right help and care it can come and go as fast as the seasons.