Campus / News / February 25, 2010

Eric Says: Winter blues

Winter is in full tilt, and, for some people, this is horribly depressing. For others, it is only moderately depressing, but the point is that there is something about winter that gets people down. Well, there is a real mood disorder called SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) that proves that scientists are the laziest people around when it comes to naming new stuff.

However unimaginative the name is, it is a real thing and does cause real depression in real people. While there are instances of it taking effect in the other three seasons, winter is when it hits the hardest and broadest. Some of the symptoms of SAD are sleeping an excessive amount, having little energy and overeating sugary food.

One theory as to why SAD affects people is the general lack of sunlight during the winter. This is combated by “light therapy,” where patients are exposed to full spectrum lights for periods of time. People were also told to spend more time outside when the sun was shining. This treatment has been successful at reducing the symptoms of SAD as well as striking a blow against the gothic life style.

But aside from a potential (if not already written) blues song, how does this affect people around campus? Well, some report that winter term is the most depressing term of the three, as well as feeling the longest. Good portions of people do not show up for second period class, presumably because they were busy not having energy and sleeping in. Whether or not more sugar is consumed in the winter is unknown to me.

Those are all great examples of the disorder ripping its way through the student population: classic SAD. Except I forgot to mention earlier that SAD only affects around nine percent of the population. The rest of the student body who would seem to fit this description is probably just lazy or stay up too late.

So instead of trying to fix something that few people actually have, here is a list of things to occupy oneself during the winter (being depressed is optional):

1. Complain about the cold.

2. Walk to classes while complaining about the cold.

3. Walk around campus (while it is cold).

4. Enjoy the brief moments of sunlight before realizing it is still cold.

5. Go to parties and complain to everyone how cold it was when you were walking over.

It is cold, people do not want to go to class, and you fit into the class of people. It is cold enough as it is, we do not need to hear about it. Sorry if that got personal, I am just feeling a little chilly.

Eric Denson

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