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The Lancer Link

News for the Carlsbad High School Community

The Lancer Link

News for the Carlsbad High School Community

The Lancer Link

Navigating the winter blues

Hannah Wheeler

How do you feel during the winter? Some people have no motivation, hate going out and can’t figure out what’s going on. The clinical term for these feelings is Seasonal Affective Disorder. More commonly known as seasonal depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that people experience based on seasonal changes during the year. It is most commonly seen during fall and winter, but can occur anytime.

Sarah Fischer is a mental health specialist on the Carlsbad High School campus. She meets with students to work on any social or emotional goals they have and hopes to support them on their mental health journey.

“I care a lot about reconnecting ourselves with our support systems,” Fischer said. “[I] feel passionate about being a part of breaking that stigma and the taboo of talking about mental health, making it more normal and so people feel less alone in that process.”

Through her experience as a counselor, Fisher has learned that many people experience seasonal depression very differently. The symptoms people feel can vary and affect daily habits.

“There [are] symptoms like not having the energy to do things you used to like, wanting to isolate more, feeling sad, more tired, [having a] lack of motivation [and] some people have thoughts of hurting themselves,” said Fischer.

Isolation is one way those with seasonal depression tend to cope. Losing the motivation or love for anything can result in the preference to stay inside, resulting in isolation. Making proper connections is vital to ensuring that people don’t feel as isolated and lonely.

“It’s so important not to isolate when you’re not feeling your best self, as humans we thrive on connecting with the people around us,” said Fischer.

Fischer’s ultimate goal is to help students with their mental health. She wants students to recognize that they have access to support.

“They’re not alone, there’s people that care to help them through [the] season,” Fischer said. “What they’re feeling isn’t necessarily bad, unless it is threatening their safety.”

Some struggle to reach out for help because it often means setting aside their pride or surrendering control to someone else. Numerous people assume that they shouldn’t get help, but having good mental health is a critical part of everyone’s life.

“There’s been this stigma that only people that are struggling need therapy, but we can all find a benefit in having someone join us in our mental health journey, whether it’s talk, surf, dance [or] art therapy, there’s so many forms,” said Fischer.

A person’s physical environment is not the only factor that affects their mental health, meaning that other factors can contribute to seasonal depression. According to Fischer, the support of other people, such as counselors, family or friends, is critical for students struggling with seasonal depression.

“If we don’t feel the support we need, a sense of safety or feeling seen and understood, that’s gonna make most people not feel good,” Fischer said.

Just as nature seasonally changes, someone’s feelings and emotions can transform as well. People experience cycles and rhythms with their moods, often repeating themselves just like winter, spring, summer and fall.

“We are meant to change with the seasons, we’re cyclical beings so these cycles of daylight affect our circadian rhythms,” said Fischer. “We’re affected just like the ocean has huge waves some days, the tide comes in and goes. We’re just like that, and that’s normal and okay. We can respect nature’s changes by respecting our responses to it.”

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About the Contributor
Hannah Wheeler
Hannah Wheeler, Reporter
Hannah Wheeler, a new staff member and freshman loves to write for her journalism class. She enjoys interviewing people and writing stories for the Lancer Link. In her free time, she likes playing electric guitar and hanging out with her friends.

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