Seasonal Affective Disorder – Do you have it too?

Light Therapy

The Spring and Sunshine cannot come soon enough for me at this point so I can beat these Winter Blues. I am tired of this depression and want to be outside already!!!

I totally have seasonal affective disorder and if you are not aware of what that is I am gonna tell you, because you may suffer from it too like me.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a kind of depression that occurs at a certain time of the year, usually in the winter. You may not suffer from depression at all throughout the entire year and then all of a sudden Winter comes and BAM it hits you.

Infographic Seasonal Affective Disorder

Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder:

  • Hopelessness
  • Increased Appetite
  • Less energy and ability to concentrate
  • Increased Sleep Patterns
  • Loss of interest in work or other activities
  • Feeling Sluggish
  • Social withdrawal
  • Unhappiness and irritability

The symptoms are pretty much the same as any depression – the only difference is they start to come on at the end of fall and last throughout the winter for most of us who suffer from this.

So how do I know I suffer from this disorder? Well for one I am a long time sufferer of depression and have been on lots of different medications throughout my lifetime. I finally had found that Celexa works for me to treat it and have been taking that now for years. My depression has been under control for a long time now and I have felt pretty good, but I have noticed a pattern. It seems once the cold months hit the depression comes back as if I am not taking my medication at all.

I have been in a funk the past couple months, hence the slow down in my postings. I have all the symptoms listed above including the increased appetite which scares the hell out of me. I looked back at my posts from last year at this time and that is exactly when I made a post all about depression. I thought it was just because of the surgery, but I think now it was a combo of this Seasonal Affective Disorder and all the changes going on with my body so I think it had made it even worse then.

I have been trying to keep myself busy with projects around the house to try and keep my mind off of it and to at least be able to say I have accomplished things over the winter. I work from home as well, but even my work has suffered because I just do not have the motivation to do that either. Depression is no fun and as hard as you try to wake up and say I am going to have a good day – sometimes that just does not happen.

On a happy note with me trying to keep myself busy with my wall of sticky to do notes I have been able to get stuff done in spurts. I have cleaned out closets, filed papers that had piled up, cleaned out cabinets and areas in my house in need etc… I try to do something every day even if I have to push myself to do so and count down the days until it is warm enough outside to get some sunshine and start all my yard work.

My weight loss has been stalled for about 5 weeks now – it is frustrating to say the least, BUT with my increased eating and less exercise I am not surprised at all. I am hopeful once Spring gets here and I start to be a lot more active outside I will see that kick back in and move in the right direction once again. I happy I have not gained anything but to be stuck kinda sucks too.

So what do you do if you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Well some people will go on anti depressants for just the winter months. For me I am already on them, BUT next year I will talk to my doctor and maybe add another one for the winter or possibly up the dose of what I am currently taking to help me through – at this point being winter is just about over I will skip that this year.

They also say that light therapy also called phototherapy helps. You sit near a specialized light therapy box so that you’re exposed to bright light. Light therapy mimics outdoor light and they say it helps cause a change in brain chemicals linked to mood. I think for me I will be purchasing one of these too for next season and see if it helps.

So if anyone has been wondering where I have been, now you know. I have been dealing with the Winter Blues and counting down the days and hours until Spring. Now that I have seen the horrible pattern of Seasonal Affective Disorder I will be much more prepared next year and maybe avoid going through it again.

If you think you suffer from Depression and or Seasonal Affective Disorder be sure to see your doctor for an official diagnosis !!!

So my shout out to Mother Nature: “Can you hurry up and bring on the warm weather and sunshine already!!!!”