Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Let's Talk About Seasonal Affective Disorder!

If you've ever read the description of Seasonal Affective Disorder, I have come to realize that my picture should be there next to the description.

Fall and winter SAD (winter depression)
Symptoms of winter-onset seasonal affective disorder include:

* Depression
* Hopelessness
* Anxiety
* Loss of energy
* Social withdrawal
* Oversleeping
* Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
* Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
* Weight gain
* Difficulty concentrating and processing information

Originally from "up north," female, over 20, I have experienced at least three major periods of depression in my life, and all three of them came on in November and magically went away in March or April. Last year, it finally dawned on us (no pun intended) that maybe it had less to do with the holidays and more to do with the freakin' weather. For the last couple of days, I have been feeling it come on....like a heavy lead running through my veins, all I want to do in the world is drink wine and sleep. During my normal circuit to thrift stores yesterday, I didn't want to be greeted by my friendly shop keepers, and I knew I should be excited about the huge box of chip-chop dishes they handed me for free, but I couldn't seem to muster it. Everything at home is going really well, and all my Christmas shopping is mostly done. I should be happy happy happy...but I would like to just be left the stink alone to sit around in my fat girl pants and eat M&Ms.

I spend a day or two dreading it. Grumping that I have to be such a chemical screw-up. That maybe I'm just making it up. That I can outsmart it this year. That if I pray more or become a vegetarian or just "be tough" I can make it go away.

This morning, I had my first tiff with Robb about it because I get really, really cranky....not just morning cranky. And not even like PMS cranky. More like a hybrid of 10th month of pregnancy and really long-car-ride-with-screaming-baby-cranky. And I thought to myself, "Shoot. I love this guy. I don't want to fight with him."

So treatments: last year I tried the drugs. They were ok, but they left me *ahem* unsatisfied if you know what I mean *wink wink* and my insurance wouldn't cover the brand that says it won't do that to you. I could try to keep walking the kids to school every day, but I feel a little guilty making them walk in the cold when I'm the one that needs the therapy. And honestly, the nice days do get few and far between in the next couple of months. I heard that tanning is a good way to go...but I'm very VERY unlikely to go someplace and do this. I'm just not that girl.

So here's what I'm thinking. I'm going to try making the light therapy box. I read that one patient who utilized this method went from suicidal to perky in just three days. Now those are some results! I'll let you know how it goes.


Sara said...

Tell me what's in the box please because i suffer from the same kind of depression during winters. I'm sure not having extremely great memories of this time doesn't help me though either...but if the box works for you...please let me know I'd like to give it a try too. If it's suitable for pregnant women...lol

Anonymous said...

My research at school is actually about this.
I have survey that I have designed and I am also writing a research review about it in Behavioral Neuroscience.

I have opinions.

Sadie said...

I use these fancy light bulbs that are supposed to mimic natural outside light. I used them when Norah had jaundice, and now in the winter as well. They are pretty cheap at Lowe's, and seem to work well. I haven't spent the whole day in bed yet anyway...

Candice Houston said...

OK, so you know I dealt with seratonin issues after I quit the business if you know what I mean, wink nudge....so I have had great results using an amino acid I get over the counter at the natural food store, called sam-e. It has greatly improved my ups and downs!
I feel you, about the fat girl pants and m and ms. Why don't they let us sit and stew!
Love you sauce!

gerbmom said...

oh! Let me know how it goes. I've thought about it, but I, um, can't get off my couch......

Your "Still banging my head on walls, imagining worst case scenarios regarding my family, up all hours of the night and wandering supermarket aisles like a zombie..." friend.

Matthew said...

I'm sorry to hear about the whole S.A.D thing--I hope the light box therapy does the trick.

klasieprof said...

Thanks for reminding me to go to the tanner.
Word Verification
bedul= what happens without the sun

klasieprof said...

oh yah...and "Thank you Pristique".

Life with Kaishon said...

Suicidal to perky in three days. Well, you can't really beat that can you?

I am going to pray for you today. I will ask my small group to pray also Vanessa. I am sorry that you have to deal with this. I can't imagine.

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