Fresno State students getting tele-therapy during pandemic

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno State students are taking advantage of tele-therapy as they struggle with the stresses of the pandemic, schoolwork, and now seasonal depression.

With the lockdown in place, the university's health and counseling center has shortened their office hours, instead resorting to meeting with patients virtually.

Counselors say with more people staying indoors, and not getting enough sunlight, they've seen an increase in seasonal affective disorder or SAD.

Some of the symptoms they describe are excessive tiredness, low mood, irritability, fatigue, feeling lethargic, the craving of carbs, isolating yourself, and a lack of motivation.

Myrna Pacheco is a counselor with Fresno State's Student Health and Counseling Center. She said on top of the disorder, many students are also feeling anxious and depressed about the pandemic.

"People that never had depression or anxiety, are now having anxiety or depression because of COVID 19. We talked about how people are indoors a whole lot more, they're not getting the sunlight. A lot of COVID-related issues are impacting their lives and therefore a lot of anxiety and depression is affecting people," Pacheco said.

Mental health experts say women and young adults between 18 and 30 are more susceptible to seasonal depression.

Pacheco says you can help yourself by creating a "new normal" with certain lifestyle changes and going outside by hiking, biking, or even walking the dogs.

She also recommends a healthy diet and reaching out to tele-health counseling if you're feeling symptoms of the disorder.

If you're a student, you can book a free appointment by visiting here.
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