Even as the Arctic Vortex subsides, winter brings gray skies, little sun and shorter days. According to the American Psychiatric Association, winter weather depression — called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) — can affect 10 to 20 percent of the population, including children and teens.
Lethargy, irritability, changes in appetite, a decrease in academic performance and disinterest in friends and activities can be signs of distress in children and teens.
Teens interviewed by the Connect with Kids Education Network say their mood changes in the winter.
“You know, just not in the mood to be talking to anybody and people kind of tell me I get a little bit mood swingy at times and I just might get mad about something really small,” says Jasmine, 16.
“I definitely tend to isolate myself in my bedroom more. I’m always wanting to sleep and don’t want to be bothered,” says Chauntae, 16.
Light therapy, talk therapy and/or antidepressant medication can be used to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder, under the guidance of a physician.