Nov 26, 2020

Interviewer: Lately, it seems like your child has been a little down and depressed, but it might not be actual depression. Pediatrician, Dr. Cindy Gellner, tell us about Seasonal Affective Disorder and kids.

Dr. Gellner: It's a seasonal type of depression that we see when it's wintertime and daylights get shorter. It's most common in older teens and young adults, and more often affects girls. Symptoms include those of normal depression, but they seem to only happen in the wintertime and get better during the spring. These can include feelings of hopelessness, sleeping more than usual, having a hard time completing assignments, and not really motivated for school. They can even be less social than before.

Take them to their pediatrician. This is a brain chemistry issue, not a behavior problem. Increased light exposure helps, so try taking a walk in the daylight. Talk with a counselor, and spend extra time with your child.

updated: November 26, 2020
originally published: December 29, 2017

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