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Ankita was a bright young girl, all of 12 years old. She studied well, got good marks in school and had a reasonable number of friends. However, when her grades in school began to fall during the winter semester, and she preferred staying alone at home, instead of mixing with friends, her parents started getting worried. They decided to keep an eye over her. So it came as a surprise to them that her marks again picked up during the coming summer, and she became her usual, chirpy self again.
What Ankita seems to be going through is a type of depression usually found in adults, that is affected by the changing seasons! Surprised? Yes, the winter ‘blues’ that we all feel and know so well, affects some people more seriously than others, and it can be found in children and adolescents too! Known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, this type of depression usually peaks during the winters, when sunshine is in short supply and the days are much shorter. SAD is usually recognizable in adults, but children too can be affected by it, though it is more difficult to diagnose it. Children sometimes experience feelings of low self-worth and self-esteem. They may feel life is hopeless and that there is no longer anything “good to look forward to “. A child may feel “blue”, and may shirk away from his friends and peers. Fatigue, longer hours of sleep and difficulty in concentrating on his studies are some of the observed symptoms.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your child, in specific times of the year- in seasons like winter, for example, do not panic! SAD is curable with proper medication and therapy, according to the medical community.
Above all, just remember to align yourself with your child’s moods- SAD is perfectly curable, so take immediate help- of your doctor and of course, expose your child to lots of sunshine!