According to Mayo Clinic, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a depression that occurs when the seasons begin to change into fall and winter, affecting three million Americans each year.
Coincidentally, exams begin around the same time of year, causing these few months to be very demanding. Students feel pressure to make the best grades possible, while trying to stay afloat mentally.
“For myself, it feels like the days start to bleed into each other. Everything feels monotone. I get intensely tired, and I’m not as productive,” an anonymous student said. “I cope with it through painting and embroidery, and I’m trying to get more into writing. I also listen to my music.”
To mentally prepare and do well on exams, this student uses the December break as motivation, as well as concentrating, taking plenty of study breaks, and drinking plenty of coffee.
“I cope [with exam-related stress] by distracting myself a lot, and I don’t think about school as much; I avoid it,” another student said.Students who deal with this are coping the best way they know how and are usually alone, due to the stigmas surrounding mental health. As the days get shorter and nights come earlier, some students are feeling very low. There are different resources students can use like talking to the school counselors, family, and friends. The national suicidal prevention hotline is 1-800-273-8255.