Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Throwing the Switch: Seasonal Affective Disorder

Every winter, like clockwork, I. get. sad.

Like really sad.

It’s most difficult at night or on overcast days. Last winter, it was so bad, I started attending counseling. And I couldn’t figure it out. I didn’t understand why it was impossible to feel motivated, why I felt like curling up in a ball and crying in the evening hours, why all I wanted to do was eat or sleep, why I gained weight so quickly. I didn’t understand it, at all.

Until one day last February, when I woke up to the sun shining and the birds tweeting and an unseasonably warm winter day and I had the best day I’d had in months. I was singing in the shower. I was smiling at strangers. I felt like I had energy zinging from my fingertips and the ends of my hair.
It was like someone had flipped a light switch.

And when other people comment on the change in me, I knew there was a connection.
I feel a little like a mad scientist somewhere is screaming, THROW THE SWITCH, IGOR! THROW THE SWITCH!



Like any other kind of depression, seasonal affective disorder stems mainly from things outside of my control. I can’t send the heavy Ohio clouds away or keep the sun from going down by 5 pm all winter. Sometimes it feels like I’m stuck in a fog or weighed down by a heavy load of bricks. For someone like me who is constantly moving and doing, this lack of motivation is confusing and frustrating and disempowering.

This year, I’m trying to be more proactive about my SAD. I may not have control over the weather or the sun. But I do have some measure of control and I am determined to find it. More on that, next post.


Anyone else suffer from seasonal depression? How do you take care of yourself?

love, elizabeth

6 comments:

Janet @ Made For This said...

SAD lamp on the way! And I pray that the sun just shines in your heart no matter what the sun does outside your heart. I love you, Baby Girl. Mama

Hannah {Culture Connoisseur} said...

SOrry you were under the weather there for a while. Hoping Spring comes for you quickly! Imagine what it must be like to live in ALaska where you go weeks without any sunshine. It's a scary thought.

Alana said...

I get the same way, and I never connect the dots until I finally go out in the sun and am immediately and inexplicably happy!

Brooke said...

I really love this post. Thank you for being so honest and real.

Jennifer said...

I've never heard of this before, but it explains a lot for my ownself. I think that I have some of those tendencies and the weather or time of year often has a lot do with my well being. You are brave and strong - I love seeing you take care of yourself in the ways that you need to. Love and hugs.

Ashley @ A Recipe for Sanity said...

I have major depressive disorder, so i get how you feel. Unfortunately, my episodes occur year round. Boo. But it all sucks no matter when it happens! Take good care of yourself, girl! :)

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