I must start this article by admitting when I was younger the doctor diagnosed me with S.A.D. My mother brought me a lightbulb that was supposed to help- as far as I can see it didn’t do anything. It turns out I wasn’t actually depressed, and so began my distaste for doctors who feel the need to label everything.
The symptoms of S.A.D are down to a chemical imbalance in the brain brought on by lack of daylight; hence why it is prevalent in the winter. Symptoms include: low mood, fatigue, irritability, over eating and a need to sleep more. I do not undermine the feeling of anyone with depression, but I feel like many of these symptoms are pretty common for many people in winter. Only the other day I was walking through Portswood and being hit in the face by mist, with looming clouds and rain that seemed to hang in the air. At the end of this particularly grey day, I spoke to my housemates and they were all slightly depressed by the weather, didn’t want to get out of bed and were practically eating the whole house. I think these symptoms may be even more common in students: long days, bad diets, homesickness and rainy, rapey, Portswood can be enough to turn a good day bad.
However, what do we do? We suck it up, put a smile on our faces and get on with it- a typically British attitude to British weather. Maybe this is why we like talking about weather so much. It is also undeniable that when the sun shines in Spring, everyone strips off, heads outside and tries to get a tan. This being said I feel like S.A.D can give people an excuse to mope, and keep them stuck in misery mode. How about if we just accepted that the clouds were overwhelming and the darkness was looming, and forced ourselves to think: “So what. I’m still going to have a bloody good day”. That is what I will be doing this winter.
(I would just like to re iterate this article is not aimed at people suffering from serious depression).