Long winter’s night

I don’t know what has come over my daughter. Over the summer, she seemed very happy, going out with her friends to the park, riding her bike everywhere; she was so full of life I had trouble getting her to bed at night. Now, all she wants to do is sleep. She has no energy or interest in doing anything beyond a minimum amount of school work. When she stopped texting with her friends, I started to really worry. I know teenagers are moody, but I think something else is going on.

The teenage years are a perfect storm of hormones and independence. It’s true that many parents don’t recognize their once-perfect child in their now out-of-control teen, but I don’t think that is what’s going on with your daughter. With her change of behavior pivoting at the beginning of the school year, and with the attendant sleepiness, lack of interest, and isolation, I believe your daughter may be experiencing seasonal affective disorder.

Seasonal affective disorder is a form of depression that occurs around the same time — and season — each year. Some people experience what is called summer-onset seasonal affective disorder, but the majority experience fall-onset. The fall season ushers in many things: chillier weather, changing leaves, a new school calendar, but it also means fewer daylight hours and less sunshine. Exposure to the sun helps the body produce a neurotransmitter called serotonin, which helps regulate mood. Less sunlight often impacts serotonin levels, and fatigue and depression may ensue. Teens with a family history of depression may be more susceptible.

Some teens may experience the disorder with minor symptoms, such as increased irritability or just feeling a little out of sorts, but others experience more extreme symptoms, such as consistent fatigue, inability to concentrate, or problems with relationships. Regardless of the severity of symptoms, if it is negatively impacting your teen’s life, I recommend that you speak with her doctor.

Treatments vary, and different techniques may be tried until your daughter finds relief. However, it is recommended that all people with seasonal affective disorder try to get outside during the day as often as possible; try to eat a balanced, healthy diet; and get at least an hour of exercise a day.

A popular treatment is light therapy. Light therapy entails sitting a few feet away from a special bright light, which is about 20 times brighter than standard room lighting. Each sitting session slowly increases in time until the depressive symptoms begin to dissipate. For some, the change comes within a few days; for others, it might take longer, or sessions may need to be increased in frequency. For especially unyielding cases, light therapy may be fortified with anti-depressants. Once the mood is stabilized, the therapy continues until the season naturally brings more hours of sunlight.

One of the key characteristics of seasonal affective disorder is its appearance each fall — but that also means that with each spring, it dissipates. Talk to your daughter; let her know you are there for her. And have her evaluated for seasonal affective disorder. It may recur each year, but at least she will have the tools to treat it, and your love to support her as she does so.

Relevant Directory Listings

See More

Child's Play NY - Summer Camps

<div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Summer 2022</strong> (In-Person Only)</div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Child’s Play NY summer camps shine a spotlight on kids’ imagination and creativity. Budding thespians of all levels learn sophisticated theater techniques and are inspired to grow their bravery, imagination, and talents. This award-winning drama program is helmed by vibrant teaching artists using a games-based curriculum that supports collaboration and joy. Weekly themes tap into what kids love most with specific focuses like superheroes, mythology, Harry Potter, musicals, and more. Sessions culminate in a live or virtual showcase of scenes, songs, and original stories. In addition, the program prioritizes safety with plenty of outside activities, a 1:5 teacher to camper ratio, and small groups. <br /><br />Adventure Series | Ages 3-4 in Carroll Gardens | Half Day<br />Players Series | Ages 5-6 in Carroll Gardens and Fort Greene | Full Day<br />Showmakers Series | Ages 7-11 in Brooklyn Heights | Full Day<br />Plus programs at Berkeley Carroll School</div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"> </div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Learn more & enroll at <a style="color: #1155cc;" href="http://childsplayny.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">childsplayny.com</a>.</div> <p><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;" data-sheets-value="{" data-sheets-userformat="{"><span id="docs-internal-guid-68bc3f62-7fff-50a4-cf36-4b76efd354e1"></span></span></p>

Rodeph Sholom School Day Camp

<p>Rodeph Sholom School Day Camp is devoted to celebrating the joys of childhood. Our enthusiastic and compassionate staff are dedicated to providing a memorable, safe, and fun summer experience where children pursue passions while gaining new experiences. Our thoughtful, age appropriate programming enables children to grow as individuals and make lifelong friendships.</p> <p>This Summer, we believe kids need camp more than ever!</p> <p>More friendships than ever!</p> <p>More community building than ever!</p> <p>More connection making than ever!</p> <p>More activities than ever!</p> <p>More joy than ever!</p> <p>More ruach (spirit) than ever!</p> <p>More camp magic than ever! </p> <p>More FUN THAN EVER! </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Who We Are</strong></p> <p>Rodeph Sholom School Day Camp engages children <strong>ages Three through 6th Grade</strong> through experiences that help build a positive sense of self, strong peer relationships, skill development in a range of areas, exposure to new and existing passions.</p> <p>We are a strong community that celebrates each individual. Our camp feels like home to all of our campers and staff.</p> <p><strong>Our Mission</strong></p> <p>Our strong culture and community allows each child to discover new passions, create life-long friendships, and find a strong sense of belonging</p> <p><strong>Pursuit of Passion Elective Program</strong></p> <p>All of our rising 1st through 6th graders will have a two-hour long elective period daily, which is a chance to pursue an old or new passion. At the beginning of each two week session, campers have a chance to sign up for their Pursuit of Passion elective, or if they’d like, they can sign up for a mix of two passions to explore. After their Pursuit of Passion period ends in the morning, campers will return to their bunk group for a day full of sports, arts, swim, and more.</p> <p><strong>Possible Pursuits of Passion programs include:</strong></p> <p>- Sports (Floor Hockey, Soccer, Basketball, Skateboarding, Gymnastics, etc.)</p> <p>- Chess</p> <p>- Woodworking</p> <p>- Studio Arts</p> <p>- Hebrew</p> <p>- Performance Arts</p> <p>- Music (Rock band, DJing, Acapella)</p> <p>- Cooking</p> <p>- Business and Debate</p> <p>- Outdoor Adventure</p> <p>- Architecture</p> <p>- STEM Based Programming</p>

Ballet Academy East SUMMERDANCE Camp

<p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; font-family: Calibri, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;"><strong><span style="font-family: Calibri, Helvetica, sans-serif;">A fun-filled summer program designed to foster imagination and inspire a love of the arts</span></strong></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; font-family: Calibri, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;"> </p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; font-family: Calibri, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">Ballet Academy East is proud to once again offering its much-loved and very popular SUMMERDANCE CAMP this summer! Summerdance is a fun-filled program for children 3-7 years, designed to foster imagination and inspire a love of the arts. Activities include a variety of dance forms, arts & crafts, drama, musical theater, cooking, origami, and much more! Classes are led by BAE’s talented and dedicated instructors who specialize in teaching and encouraging young children. Group size is limited to promote a fully interactive experience and individual attention for each child. Sign up for all 7 weeks or design your own week-to-week schedule.</p>