Hilton’s Guide to SAD


Photo by Hilton Bates

MHS Counseling Center

Hilton Bates, Bobcat Beat Staff

Along with the change of seasons, comes new struggles or changes in moods of community members. Seasonal Depression, also known as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is very real.


“I’m a counselor so I deal with it a lot every single year with a lot of students and with a lot of members of our communities,” MHS Counselor Kevin Jones said.


No matter where you live or what your background is, SAD can be a real threat to the mental health of students and members of our community. SAD can affect between 0.5 to 3 percent of the general population according to medlineplus.gov. These numbers grow significantly when put to scale in teenagers in which it’s very common, and those who already have major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder diagnosed.


“Any change can trigger a lot of different emotions, so whether it’s a change of seasons or even just a change of the trimesters we have quite an influx,” Jones said


Although change is inevitable and an unavoidable part of life, it can cause people to feel anxious or depressed. Some may find certain changes exciting and put them in a joyful mood. Others may find change to be uncomfortable and transitioning to be anxiety ridden. Some ways to cope with change may be to stick to certain hobbies you enjoy and to avoid drugs and unhealthy habits.


“As far as energy in the school I would say it’s hard for me to put my finger on it. I wouldn’t be able to say yes or no specifically. I would lean more towards a no, but at the same time it would be naive to say there is not a change. Like I said, even just with a change of the trimester changes the climate of the school,” Jones said


A change in energy is very subtle but it is there. Especially when looking at students as individuals as opposed to looking at the student body as a whole. If you feel like you are having trouble coping with change that comes with the season, or as the trimester comes to an end, the school provides many wonderful resources to help you through it. It may seem off-putting at first, but please reach out to your counselors or any teachers you feel comfortable opening up to.


“We have close to 1,300 students and three counselors. You can imagine if ten students had a hard day, we still aren’t gonna get through all 1,300 of them throughout the school year. So we are definitely used multiple times a day as a resource,” Jones said.


Photo by Hilton Bates