The Pains of Winter

Today, I don’t want to get out of bed. I’m tired, I’m miserable and I feel hopeless. This winter has been particularly hard as depression has set in far worse than other years. SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a type of depression that occurs due to reduced exposure to sunlight and/or low vitamin D levels. Some years are worse than others.

SAD

SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a type of depression that occurs due to reduced exposure to sunlight and/or low vitamin D levels. Symptoms can include lack of energy, lack of concentration, fatigue, need to be alone, increased/decreased appetite, and weight gain/loss.

Supplements of vitamin D, light therapy, and exercise can help manage the symptoms, but there isn’t a cure.

Make it stop

Each day is a rollercoaster of emotions. Somedays are normal. Other days are like living in a pit of darkness, alone. And of course, there is everything in between. Yes, I do feel like a lunatic with multiple personalities or a three-year-old. Still debating this one.

And then there is all of the crying over nothing. The tears just start flowing. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing, there they go. It’s so annoying.

And the insomnia. This was actually the first issue to hit me way back in the fall. It started with just waking up an hour or two earlier than normal. It has progressed to where I don’t get more than a couple hours of sleep at a time. Several friends have suggested different meds, which I may try, because being exhausted all the time is not fun.

I can deal with the sadness, lack of motivation, lack of sleep and wild emotions. It’s the anxiety and panic attacks that kill me. Everything…and I mean everything…feels like the end of the world. Someone didn’t answer their phone when I called?…obviously they hate me. Made a minor error (or a major one)?…obviously I’m a failure who can’t do anything right. Other people are happy doing things without me?…obviously no one cares about me. These thoughts tend to feed off of each other until I’m in such a deep pit of despair that I start thinking that I may be better off dead. Thankfully my sanity isn’t totally shot and my reasonable-self prevails…eventually.

I just want it all to stop. I want to go back to being the fun, happy person that I was before. I want to see the wonder in everything again. I want to enjoy life.

Coping

One thing that has helped me cope is writing. I can bleed into my work all of the feelings and emotions that are tormenting me at the time. It saves friendships when I take my anxiety and anger out on fiction characters rather than on real people. (This was learned the hard way after I almost drove someone away I dearly care about.)

The other thing is finding a support group on Facebook of others who suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) aka winter depression. The group has been amazing. Everyone has been so supportive and full of helpful advice on coping. It helps just knowing that there are others dealing with the same problems. The recommended Vit. D supplements and light therapy help too.

And, of course, there are my friends (and Declan) who continue to put up with me.

Spring

There have been reports this week of robin sightingss, which means Spring is on its way. With longer days and more sunshine things should improve. And I say should, because there is always the off chance that there is a worse problem underlying these symptoms. We’ll see.

I see the sun has finally come out. I think I’ll drag myself out of bed and go for a walk. Harry Dresden is waiting for me to finish listening to Fool’s Moon, which I began listening to when I was walking to work back in October.

So, enjoy the day everyone. I’m outta here.

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