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There’s SAD, and then there’s sad.

image credit to Scott Macaulay

image credit to Scott Macaulay

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about my intense relief at the daylight savings time and the resulting increase in evening sunlight.  I was thrilled by how quickly my energy returned and my mood improved.  Apparently I spoke too soon,.

There was the surprise Palm Sunday snow storm.  Then there were a couple of weeks of mostly cold, cloudy weather.  No good for going out for extra Vitamin D in the sunlight, or getting outside to walk in the fresh air.

And soon I realized that I was just as down as I had been all winter.  I was as irritable as my chronically depressed husband (about whose grouchiness I often complain…ouch.) I felt negative, had little interest in my work, and wasn’t sleeping well.  Seasonal affective disorder hadn’t magically disappeared after all.

Then, after several days of bad hews, stressful events, and downright gloom, I realized there was more going on than “just” my winter SAD. I had to sit down and admit to myself that there’s a whole lot going on in my life that was just plain getting me down.  Even without SAD, situational depression was a distinct possibility.

As a person who writes about and works in the area of depression and caring for depressed people  it’s a topic I”m immersed in a lot – occasionally more than I would like.  Then, too, I’m a dyed-in-the-wool navel gazer.  You know that Myers-Briggs personality thing?  I’m off the charts on introspection.  Pretty obnoxious, really.

But it all led me to this train got thought: how do you know whether your annual bout of SAD is over?  How does a long postponement of spring affect other people with the disorder?  When other issues come into play, how do you move on?  At what point is it time to dig further, consider medication adjustments, consult a therapist?

They’re all good questions, and I’d invite any readers who deal with SAD to share their thoughts.  Thankfully for me, spring did finally arrive in the last few days.  That’s helped a lot. At the same itme, I went out of my way to do some self-indulgence and self-care, and to increase my exercise   As a result of these efforts, I’m noting a distinct difference in my mood and outlook.  But what if things hadn’t happened that way?

-Amy

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3 Responses

  1. I’ve been wondering the same things! when the sun and warmth came out, I felt so happy, and then it’s so depressing that the cold and grey is back. I don’t have SAD, at least…I don’t think so, but I’ve been very surprized at how much the weather changing has affected my mood! I’ve wondered about this a lot these past weeks… great post!

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