Seasonal depression, or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), is a type of depression that occurs at the same time every year, usually in the fall and winter months when there’s less natural sunlight. While it’s commonly associated with adults, children and adolescents can also experience seasonal depression.
Understanding Seasonal Depression in Children
Children, much like adults, can be affected by the changes in seasons. Their young minds and bodies react to the reduced levels of sunlight, which can disrupt their internal biological clock and lead to feelings of depression. However, recognizing SAD in children can be more challenging. They might not be able to articulate their feelings or understand what they’re experiencing.
Look for signs of sadness, irritability, or mood swings that seem to appear during the fall or winter months. Over-sleeping, difficulty waking up, or a disrupted sleep schedule can also be signs of SAD. Craving for carbohydrates, or a decreased appetite can occur. Children may lose interest in activities they usually enjoy or withdraw socially.
Managing Seasonal Depression
Consult a pediatrician or a mental health professional who can provide guidance and recommend appropriate treatment. With the right support and management strategies, children with seasonal depression can navigate the tougher months more comfortably and maintain a positive outlook.