Seasonal Affective Disorder

The leaves are almost all off the tree, and we’re into the “rainy” season here in the Pacific Northwest. Daylight Savings is a joke, because now I’m ready for bed around 7pm. This time of the year is when I want to hibernate, and it’s a struggle to get up every morning and get things done.

Since I grew up in Alaska, it was always so much worse since we had no sunshine at all for a couple of months. No, not total darkness, but nothing brighter than dusk.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is what they call it, and I’ve suffered from it since I hit puberty. This past year I got on the Vitamin D kick, sure that it would solve all my problems. It did not. I’m still dragging. Maybe it’s not quite as bad as last year? I couldn’t tell you. Getting out and walking does seem to help, though when I come back to home I could easily crawl into my nice warm bed and sleep away the day. I don’t though. I work through it.

I’m not whining, I’m just sharing the fact that this time of the year can be hard. Lack of light, the holidays, the blues. I hope everyone out there has someone they can lean on. For me it’s my wonderful husband who, after 13 years of marriage knows my moods pretty well. He lets me be a little bitchy without calling me on it. He snuggles me more.

My advice to others who are going through this is try to get out. Go for a walk—just remember to bundle up against the weather! And when the weather is too bad, I even drag myself out to the stores, and I’m not a shopper so this isn’t what I consider fun. I go to a coffee shop and people watch. Sit in the food court at the mall and do the same. Isolation is the worst thing. And if it’s very bad, find someone to talk to who understands these issues. Don’t try to do it alone.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving (for my American friends), and that the coming holiday season brings you joy and love.

Anna Leigh

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2 responses to “Seasonal Affective Disorder

  1. Anna – I live on the West Coast, in Vancouver BC, and know what you’re talking about. I use one of those daylight-mimicking lamps. I call it my Happy Lite, and it seems to help.

  2. I also think that there is nothing wrong with slowing down for part of the year. Perhaps we need a little fallow time in our lives. There is something that feels quite artificial in the way our society pushes us to produce, produce, produce as if we were machines.

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