A Highway to a Healthy Mind
The winter season is here, but so is the wave of sadness that it brings.
By Che Muñoz
During my freshman and sophomore year, I went through a really tough time during the winter season, I didn’t know how to control how I ate; I would starve myself from the morning to the end of school, and then get home just to pig out on junk food and overeat. I remember being so low on energy, and just wanting to lay down on my couch and forget about all my responsibilities. My grades began to drop, and it only made the situation worse. I began to feel like there was going to be no end to this, this constant wave of sadness, coming home every day from school to just feel so empty inside. I knew that something was wrong with me but, I was always afraid to even let my doctor know about what I was feeling. Because I never got a proper diagnosis, I could never get the proper help that I needed. I would later go on to learn that what I was feeling was known as, “Seasonal Depression”.
Seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D.), or “Seasonal Depression”, is a type of depression that happens around the same time every year. Most people who experience this phenomenon usually experience it during the winter season. According to Mayo Clinic, six out of 100 people have seasonal depression. Common symptoms include oversleeping, appetite changes, weight gain, and tiredness.
AHS has an on campus Wellness Center where they try to provide a place for students to come and feel safe in a very comfortable environment. But in order to get the benefits of the Wellness Center, you have to go there physically. I felt nervous about going into the Wellness Center, there was some sort of discomfort holding me back. The District and the school, should be funding the Wellness Center a lot more than it does now. Currently, the Wellness Center is only open three days a week, and the counselors only have so much time with students. Kids can’t just turn off their feelings, with proper funding, the Wellness Center could be open all day, everyday for the benefit of the students. The way that our Wellness Center operates restricts the amount of time that kids might have to walk in and speak to someone for help, extending the days that the center is open can really ensure that our students are not falling behind, that they know that they are cared for and valued. As stated previously, during the winter season, seasonal depression is common, there are going to be a lot more students that need to see a professional, with even more access, students will be provided for and have what they need to be successful for their finals and for their themselves in general.
Students need a place where they can talk, and open up about their feelings and emotions. Seasonal Depression can grow within a person, at first, it can be small at first and not affect a person that much, but without any help, it can grow to affect a student’s appetite, social life, and energy. The Wellness Center can help students talk it out before it is too late. It’s hard having to be alone with things like this, but our students don’t have to be alone, they have resources. •