EDITORIAL: You are not alone


Editorial Board

Each year around five percent of the United States population is affected by seasonal affective disorder, commonly known as seasonal depression.

SAD can manifest in a multitude of ways, including depression, anxiety, mood changes, sleep problems, lethargy, overeating, social problems and sexual problems, with most of them being consistent with symptoms of depression.

According to Mental Health America, “the reduced level of sunlight in the fall and winter months may affect an individual’s serotonin, a neurotransmitter that affects mood. Lower levels of serotonin have been shown to be linked to depression.”

Another cause is the shorter days seen in colder seasons. The increase in darker hours is met with an increase in melatonin, a sleep-related hormone that is released at higher levels in the dark.

This increase can impact an individual’s circadian rhythm by causing disrupting their typical sleep/wake rhythm.

We at The Daily Eastern News see, or rather hear, these impacts every day on the police scanner in our newsroom. Each year, as the days get shorter and darker, we hear an increase of mental health-related calls to the police and fire departments.

Now, with the isolation caused by the pandemic, we have seen an even bigger increase in those calls.

These are trying times. There’s nothing easy about living in a pandemic, especially with the added impacts of depression, but know that you are not alone.

There are many resources available to those facing seasonal depression this year, depression, or even those who just need someone to listen.

We encourage you to look for the best options and find what works for you. You do not have to face this by yourself.