Monday, January 30, 2012


Since this is MY blog I am going to write about whatever I have a problem with Winter...I don't have a problem with the snow or anything...other than the cold {brrr} and I absolutely adore it when it snows, it fills my heart with warmth {reminds me of when I was little, Ma baking, Pa shovelling, music, going outside to play in the snow, the furnace kicking in, just about anything to do with being cozy, safe and happy} but over the last few years, as I have gotten older...I have realized that I need some sunshine in my life. 
Growing up, I loved the dark. I loved overcast days, I loved rainy days, it could perpetually rain for the rest of my life and I didn't care. I loved it. And to be honest, my Mamma liked it too. My Dad on the other hand? Not so much...he liked the sunshine. I am pretty sure my hyper younger Sister at the time liked the sunshine as well. When building our last house my Dad made sure there were a TUN of windows everywhere because he wanted the sun to shine in every corner of the house...he would SLEEP in the sun too, like a cat {how do people do this?!}. Don't get me wrong, I liked the sun...but if they called for rain or storms and the sun popped out {ESPECIALLY after a rainstorm} it pissed me off...
Why? I guess I read a lot...I mean, I associated the rain with things like Ireland and mythology, castles and faeries...and at the time those were things that intrigued me. So you can imagine how stupidly happy I was when it was pouring rain out there, window open, the smell of it, Sting on the CD player, or Enigma or Delerium...reading a book by OR Melling or Marillier or even watching Merlin or just coincided. It melted into one another into something that I could only describe as "magical". 
Like I the time...that was perfection. 
As much as I still love my rain, storms and snow...there is a line there now...I can handle a day or two...I cannot handle plain old boring overcast days...but I need some sunshine from time to time. Why? I have something called S.A.D.
Seasonal Affective Disorder.
What brought it on? I don't know to be honest...there are many factors that play into someone developing S.A.D. such as body temperature, amount of light, genes and hormones.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is episodes of depression that occur at a certain time of the year, usually during Winter. Don't get this confused with Bipolar Disorder...some people could even get S.A.D. during Summer months, but it affects most people that endure long Winter nights...and it doesn't help that I live in a basement and I worked in a basement. When I get in a funk I can immediately pull myself out of it little by little but going outside or doing something in the outdoors...fresh air does help believe it or not. 
Do I feel like this in the Summer? Heck no...I am out and about and happy as pig in shit during those hot and tediously humid days. In warm weather - the possibilities are endless as to what you can do out there in the world. In the Winter...I feel like those options are a bit limited. 
I also have a great little S.A.D. lamp that the boyfriend got me 2 years ago...that I haven't used for a bit but might end up using it this time around to get me out of my funk. It emulates sunlight in a way and just 30 minutes in front of this ridiculously bright lamp can help your mood significantly. 
How do I know I have S.A.D.? Well, you can go to your Doctor for one thing, there is no "real" test for S.A.D. but I am not a depressed person and I know my little bouts of extreme moodiness in turn reflects the weather at times...and I have noticed that Winter time, the anxiety climbs high so I have learned to put two and two together. I know that some people may freak out and think they have a full blown depression that comes and goes...that doesn't happen on it's own. 
There are some symptoms that you can spot with S.A.D. but as I said - nothing beats like going to see your GP and seeing what he/she has to say. Ultimately though, you are what you are and no one knows you but you. 

Some symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder.
{Taken from the site:}

Symptoms usually build up slowly in the late Autumn and Winter months. Symptoms are usually the same as with Depression.
  • Increased appetite with weight gain {weight loss is more common with other forms of depression}.
  • Increased sleep and daytime sleepiness {too little sleep is more common with other forms of depression}.
  • Less energy and ability to concentrate in the afternoon.
  • Loss of interest in work and other activities 
  • Slow, sluggish, lethargic movement.
  • Social withdrawal.
  • Unhappiness and irritability.
First of all...who ever has a keen interest in work??! Lol. 

Treatment...well, the one thing that REALLY helps S.A.D. is light therapy and that is where the S.A.D. lamp comes into play. You can get them at your local drug store...they are a bit pricey but it is well worth it...and for 30 minutes a day you can significantly improve your mood within 3 to 4 weeks. 

Now, like I said...I AM NOT A DOCTOR so do NOT take this information IN PLACE of YOUR GP. I don't have a PHD attached to my name. I am just telling you and recounting my experiences with S.A.D. and some things that helped me realize that I had it and what helped me. Make sure to get out there and get fresh air, do light therapy, exercise and dream. :) 

Why did I share? 
Just because...there are people out there that inspired me to do so {such as Ava Cowan and her blog post about her depression and substance abuse issues in the past}...and what is the sense of keeping it "hidden" and not talking about it when you can essentially help someone out there? 
Mental illness isn't a joke...and it isn't as taboo as it used to be. SOOO many people deal with different forms of mental illness! It is only normal! We can hurt physically and it is obvious that we can hurt emotionally and psychologically too. 
It's human. 
So get over hiding it and get yourself better. :)


{Source: Images from Google Images}

1 comment:

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