The Student News Site of West Albany High School

WHIRLWIND

The Student News Site of West Albany High School

WHIRLWIND

The Student News Site of West Albany High School

WHIRLWIND

One junior experiences seasonal depression, but they aren’t alone.

How trapshooting, friendship, and their relationship with their mother made them who they are today.
One+junior+experiences+seasonal+depression%2C+but+they+arent+alone.
Emi Ludlow

A few years ago junior Nox Raveling went with their brother for Mother’s Day to shoot with the trapshooting team for the first time. It was a year after that Raveling would find themself joining the team.
Now, a few years later, Raveling continues to participate in the sport, meeting up on Mondays and Wednesdays with excitement, standing at a shooting station, and shooting shotguns at clay targets.
Raveling, who hasn’t been formally diagnosed, experiences seasonal depression, otherwise known as seasonal affective disorder, as one of up to possibly 5.5% of people aged 9-19, according to the National Library of Medicine.
SAD, as explained by Psychology teacher Kyle Hall, is the result of a vitamin D deficiency from less sunlight, which therefore causes a chemical imbalance; but also, the shortening hours of daylight and being able to do less outside can be a factor. For Raveling, it starts shortly after the start of the school year.
On days that Raveling has trapshooting, shooting at a target is a way to decompress.
“If something’s bothering me or I’m upset about something, sometimes I’ll kind of think of when I’m shooting at the targets as [a way to] kind of get rid of my problems,” Raveling said. “I’m shooting at my problem.”
Raveling attends therapy, takes medication, and has been diagnosed with severe depression. Raveling’s mom, who also has depression, helped them find these resources.
“I was scared to talk to her, but it was a positive outcome,” Raveling said. “I realized,‘Oh, it’s not so scary. My mom loves me and I can always come to her about things.’”
Through trapshooting, Raveling has made new friendships and says they have become closer with the people on their team since their first day joining: allowing them to be part of a unique community of people.
Junior Max Jimenez describes Raveling as “very outgoing.” The two have been friends for roughly six years and credits them for making him a more social person.
Over the years, he says, Raveling has learned methods to cope with depression, such as journaling. Yet, there are also times when Raveling will shut down, something Raveling admits is true and is hard for Jimenez to watch.
“I know all through my life I’ve kind of struggled with making friends and keeping friendships, but some of these friendships have lasted quite a while. A couple of them my entire life,” Raveling said. “It’s like I know that I can count on those people to be there for me.”
While it is dependent on the person, Hall says there are many ways to treat seasonal depression. These treatments include healthy eating, exercise, lamp therapy, and maintaining a routine that can be disrupted by seasonal depression: something that Raveling personally struggles with.
As friends, Raveling and Jimenez will read or play Minecraft together, but separately, as well as having fond memories of taking trips together.
“The coast is always really fun. We always go down the beach,” he said. “They love the sunsets down there.”
Raveling says friendships like the one with Jimenez mean a lot to them, giving them a way to have fun, company, and be with someone who understands them.
“I hope that [my story] will help others reach out to people and realize it’s okay to feel the ways that they’re feeling,” they said, “and that no matter what, there’s probably someone out there that cares about them enough that they will help them.”

A version of this story appeared in the 2023 Issue 1 Whirlwind magazine under the headline “Strong and Supportive.”

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Ming Wong, Editor-in-Chief
Ming is a fourth-year staff member and current editor-in-chief. To him, journalism is a way to use his inner curiosity in a way that impacts the student body of WAHS, believing that democracy depends on journalists of all levels in society. However, in his free time, he enjoys spending time with family and his pets.
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