Seasonal Depression and Stress: Fighting the Battle

With the semester winding down, many Indiana University students are experiencing the stress that the end of the semester can bring. What many students aren’t prepared for is the pressure that seasonal depression can bring during the final months of the fall semester and the beginning of the second semester.

“Students don’t tend to realize what’s happening at first, but once it hits, it hits kinda hard”, says Denise Hayes, Director of CAPS at Indiana University.

Hayes admits that even she still gets affected by seasonal depression.

“I wake up sometimes and I feel a bit under the weather when I don’t see the sun shining. It doesn’t have limits as to who it affects and when, it just does.”

Like Hayes, when students realize that they’re not feeling themselves, they “distract” themselves with different hobbies. Some of these examples include coloring, exercise and video games. For Hayes, she participates in yoga, but  one IU student overcame depression by releasing in another way

National Coming Out Day occurs on October 11th of every year, and is a day dedicated to those in the LGBTQ+ community to celebrate the day they came out to their close family and friends, or taking the step to come out to their loved ones. Testimonies, memories, and a day of pride; no matter how they decide to celebrate, it’s a monumental day for those involved.

For Indiana University sophomore Kaden Allington, he came out his junior year of high school. His family and closest friends supported his bravery in his town back home. Although he knew he’d still have a good support group here in Bloomington, he admits it wasn’t easy moving away from the people who shared the memorable day with him.

“I knew when I left home that it would be difficult, especially on the anniversary, but I found my new friend group here pretty quickly. People were really supportive, which I wasn’t expecting after being here for year”, says Allington.

That support group is not only important in Allington’s case of finding his new home hours away from his family, but it’s an important part in trying to overcome the seasonal depression that the winter months bring.

“Never underestimate the power of your peers. Family is important in a support system, but the people around you can definitely make a huge difference, especially if they’re going through the same situations”, says Hayes.

If students find that they don’t have the proper support system to get them through, CAPS at IU is also available to help students get back to their normal selves.

At Counseling and Psychological Services, also known as  CAPS at IU, located inside the Health Center, students can make appointments one-on-one or in group sessions to talk through any situation that college may bring, whether it’s mental health or stress of academics.

Appointments can be made on their website, or by walk-in. Their hotline is also available 24/7 to help students through any situation at any time.