Posted by: Alexandre Borovik | December 6, 2008

A letter to students in my course – about SAD

Dear Students,

I promised to send you a few words about SAD, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder; Seasonal Adjustment Disorder; winter depression; winter blues. Many of you came form sunnier countries and could be adversely affected by short days, low clouds, lack of sunlight, and general pre-Christmas gloom of Manchester.

I am serious — the blues that you may already experience are a widely recognised health disorder (caused by lack of light), and have to be taken seriously. Have a look at websites about SAD:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seasonal_affective_disorder
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/seasonal-affective-disorder/DS00195
http://www.patient.co.uk/showdoc/40002067/

or just google for “Seasonal Affective Disorder”.

Please take into consideration that your academic performance can be affected — I had a tutee from Mediterranean whose marks in january exams were considerably lower than in june examinations. In his third year at the university, he started to take steps to fight SAD, which dramatically improved his January marks.

A basic remedy: light. make sure that you have a plenty of light around you. visit any travel agent and see how brightly lit, warm and welcoming are their offices. Make your room feel the same way. On the Internet, you will find much more of useful and easy to implement advice.

And please, do not use SAD as an excuse from tests/examination. In Manchester, everyone has to live with it. It is like wearing warm clothing in winter — it is highly advisable, but not an excuse from test.

Good luck!

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