Our youth volunteers are available to answer calls and chat online Monday-Friday from 4-9pm. Our adult crisis workers are available 24/7, so your call will always be answered if you are in need of someone caring and non-judgemental to talk to! Call us at: 1-877-968-8491 (1-877-YOUTH-911), or chat online by clicking on the “click to chat” icon!
Do you feel sad or hopeless, notice your sleep patterns changing, withdraw from social activities, or lack energy or focus during the winter? Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a pattern of depression in which someone is depressed only during a certain season. It’s certainly no surprise that you could be depressed – gloomy weather and holiday stress are no fun – but sometimes the problem runs deeper than everyday anxiety. It’s believed that SAD’s cause is a lack of light. In the winter, the days are shorter and the clouds often cover the sun even when it’s up. More than just looking depressing, this can actually mess with your sleep patterns and even your serotonin, a hormone that affects mood. Couple that with normal winter stressors, and you’ve got a big problem.
So what can you do? If you want to avoid SAD, one of the best things you can do is to get as much full-spectrum light as you can. If you live in an area where there’s no sun this time of year, you might want to invest in a full-spectrum lightbulb and use it for a couple of hours in your day. If you can get sun – even just for 10 minutes on your break – do it. If you can take a short walk in the sunlight, even better, since exercise also helps boost your mood. Some people suggest taking Vitamin D supplements during the months where you can’t get it from sunlight – it hasn’t been proven to work, but it’s good for you even so. If you choose to take Vitamin supplements we recommend that you consult with a doctor first.
Unfortunately, prevention doesn’t work if you don’t know about it, or don’t use it, so maybe you’re already caught in the throes of SAD. Fortunately, there are options for you. The preventatives listed above – sunlight or full-spectrum light, exercise, and vitamin supplements – can all be curatives, too. If your depression is getting serious, you might want to talk to a therapist. Even if you think it will pass by spring, it still needs to be taken seriously. And of course, if you need to talk to someone, you can always call us.
For someone who is grieving, the holidays can be an especially difficult time of the year. This website is great for anyone who is struggling with feelings of loss, or knows someone close to them who is grieving.
my score said to see a counceler bt i dont want to its a lot of money and my school ones are awkward to speak with
Thank you for reaching out to the YouthLine. Just because the score you received on the test suggested that you see a counselor, that doesn’t mean that you necessarily need to. Depression is something that needs to be taken seriously, but there are other ways to receive help and support if seeing a counselor is not an option for you. Since I don’t know anything about you or your situation, I would just ask that you take some questions into consideration: Do you agree with the test results and consider yourself to be depressed? If so, that’s good that you can recognize how you are feeling and that you want to do something about it. Can you remember when you started feeling this way and do you know why? Was there something going on in your life? Are there any hobbies that you enjoy doing and that make you feel better, such as jogging, reading, writing, etc.?
If seeing a counselor is something you would be interested in as long as money is not an issue, then the YouthLine can give you resources for your exact area for free or low-cost counseling available to you. To get these resources you can either give us a call at 1-877-968-8491 or you can e-mail us again with the county you live in. If you live in Portland, (where we are located) you might consider visiting Outside In, which provides free counseling for homeless and low-income youth. You can visit their website at www.outsidein.org.
I hope this is helpful, and again, we would love to hear from you again. The YouthLine is available 24/7, or if you prefer to talk with a teen, you can call Monday-Friday from 4-9pm. 1-877-968-8491