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SAD - Seasonal affective disorder - A place to share ideas and tips to get thru it...
#1
Sad 
Hi my friends.

I thought I would start a thread on S.A.D.(Seasonal Affective Dissorder->Wikipedia Web-Link for S.A.D.<-).

I decided to make this thread for a few reasons, partly because it's that time when the clocks go back again this weekend and the days are going to feel even shorter than they do so already(They go back in the UK at least, I'm not sure about other countrys? eitherway the days are getting shorter)...But I'm mainly making this because I've found myself stuck in this sh!tty low-mood, at times in a really deep-depression for these last few weeks or so, and just can't seem to shake it off or break myself out of it, not for the life of me...and I thought maybe by writing stuff down about it might just help myself to put certain things into a different perspective and have a better understanding.

If nothing else, at least starting this thread will give other members a specific place to share thier own experiences of SAD, so others may see that they are not alone in suffering with this condition, by seeing how it can also effect other people in their day-to-day routines at work or at home, and how they are affected by it or the emptyiness, the depression, the interupted sleep patterns and everything else that comes with having SAD or low mood at this time of the year...even if it's just to have a place to "Vent" out feelings that make no sense and leave you feeling empty or wondering why every year around September or October...

Myself, I try to keep a tight hold of my personal faith, especially when I'm in them really dark places.  Also, I take a LOT more vitamins at this time of year and I think that helps, so I've read anyway(Do you take extra vitamins? Anything in particular that you feel helps you with SAD? Again, please share it...).  Also I do "try" to do some of the more "obvious" things, like exercising or push myself to get outside the house.(I say "try", as I've not been so successful lately with the last 2 of these, but when I do have success I find they can sometimes help me overcombe a great deal).

Also, I have tried the "light boxes" that are specifically made for the treatment of SAD, they give out very bright light, at certain levels of color and high levels of UV, as a lack of sunlight is thought to be a major factor in triggering SAD - though not always the case for all people, for me personally I find it's more of the short dark-dank days of winter that affect my mood(also I have underlying issues with depression).  Here in the UK we can borrow light boxes from our local hospital(at least they used to, ask your GP), I tried one some years ago now, but it did nothing for me at all.  With that said, some people have great success with them and are certainly worth a try, I think you can buy them on @maz0n or eb@y.

SAD, is not something new for me - I've had it since my teens, it's the same feeling at the same time every year to the point I genuinely dread it when September and October is looming upon us.

I haven't felt able or upto posting hardly much of anything on here lately(maybe to some peoples delight, lol), and I don't do the face-boook thing or any stuff like that anyway - Ioplist is genuinely the closest I ever get to any kind of social media these days!  Lately due to the SAD, I've had a few periods where I don't even have the mental or physical energy to pick up my laptop to go browsing on the internet or even watch a movie, and it really sucks feeling so friggin low nearly everyday - I dread having to go out of the house, or answering the phone and especially the front door.  I am really struggling with everything right now I have little energy and am not much fun to be around, if i'm to be totally honest with you, most days - I'm just about getting through each one and dreading the next one before it even arrives...

From searching and reading up about SAD on the internet, Seasonal Affective Dissorder actually affects quite a few of us at this time of year, though to varying degrees of intensity. It's much worse if you already live with an underlying form of depression.

In the US alone, it is thought between 4-6% of the population suffer with SAD on a real severe level(Especially if your in Alaska-due to being further north I guess), while 10-20% experience the milder forms and symptoms of the illness.  Statistically affecting more Women than it does Men, though not an exact science as to how much so. It is also thought to get "better", or at least affect less of us with the coming of age - the older gereration are less likely to suffer from SAD(Or maybe they are just more stalwart, than us middle aged or younger people!).

Anyway, there it is I'm sure many of you live with it. Maybe your so used to feeling like it that you don't give it much thought anymore, some just say it's just the winter blues. Still I hope someone will chip in, or maybe someone can offer advice on dealing with it. 

Genuinely, this really is the first time that I could have wrote anything like this in weeks and weeks, I don't know why or even how I've managed it tonight - though it's took me about 4/5 hours. But I couldn't of done ANY of this, this morning. Maybe it was just by "starting" the process to write things down about it and try to explain some of it, maybe it has started to help me already? Honestly, I really dunno!...try it.

Stay Blessed+have a good evening my friends...
Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path...
And leave a trail... of Love, Laughter and Understanding.
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#2
Great Post Izzy! I live is Nebraska which is a bit south of you on the globe, and I would guess your winters are longer and worse than in the Middle of the U.S.A.? Currently I drive too work in the Dark, and when I get home I have an hour or so of light. Soon it will be dark in morn and dark after work. It is the only state I have ever lived in, and am 52, so kind of used too it? But is does get me down and I think affects far more than 20 percent of people, could be wrong! I am almost sure you do not see the sun as often as we do, and even with the snow, cold,and short days, if the sun is shining bright I always feel better! You have sure done a lot of research, and please share if you find something that helps! Many would appreciate it. Only suggestion I have is what you are doing with the vitamins. I believe, other than Vitamin D Whole milk,the sun is our primary source of this Vitamin? Other than that I would just try too be thankful every morning you wake up for all the Blessings in your life!! Life flies by quick and hate the thought of you being down on the account of something out of your control, May the Sun Shine often this Winter in many different ways! Bless You Iz-FF
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#3
Rainbow 
Yep, I would agree that FF, it probably affects more of us than we all realize, but I guess everyone feels a bit fed up in the winter months wherever they live, I mean who doesn't like long summer days with a bright blue sky and all that?! And yes, I definatley find that upping my intake of certain Vitamins helps me feel better at this time of year!
As always, Thankyou and bless ya, FF!

Rafterman, Thankyou for sharing!  And no nothing about ones mental health can sound too weird to disscuss, especially so if your the one that is or has been in the middle of it! And it should never be above any kind of disscusion, though it may depend on the person and the timeing I guess - "eye of the beholder" and all that!  
But it's a real comfort to some out there, just to know there not alone in this - Personally I don't mind posting about my own Mental health issues, infact these days as I get older, it often helps myself with understanding my own issues!
I am more inclined to open up with my personal experiances - especially so as I get older - even if it has the potential to help just one person it can't hurt, if the worst I can do is sound like a fool to some, but create a real connection to just one other then it's worth it...Hell, if we don't talk about these things and how they make us feel, then we will just become more vunerable to it and feel like we stick out, what with the pressures that society can put on us when we are at our lowest...That would be such a great shame, as many peoples issues can be greatly lessend, even just by listening or talking to someone sharing out thier own life experiances. And hell - even just to find out your not alone can be a real life relief to some of us!  
Not so long ago, this, along with many other mental health issues, had one of them "Just get on with it", kinda attitudes. esp. on the subject of SAD/Depression, it is even frowned upon in some places and sadly for some people it still is...

So, I Thank-you Rafterman for your input - it is also very much appriciated my friend! Bless you!
Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path...
And leave a trail... of Love, Laughter and Understanding.
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#4
Izzy, thought of U today as the 50 mph winds and the freezing rain and no sun got me down and it was a long long day! Still Happy too be alive and well and it is something we must deal with? Hope you get more suggestions! Thanks for input Rafterman, bet you are a carpenter as I was once. When I hear the word Raft it reminds me of Tom Sawyer and the small houseboat my Buddy and I built and quit our Job's and travelled 1200 miles down the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers one summer back when I was 25. Take Care Izzy-FF
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#5
Wow...I should have known I wasn't alone. I noticed this in my late teens while growing up in the Midwest. Looking back, I now understand why as soon as I got out of college, I headed straight for the south western U.S. I have my own small rituals to help me get through it. Counting the days until Solstice, etc.

Wonderful thread.

Gemini
Happy are those who dream dreams
and are ready to pay the price
to make them come true

L.J. Cardinal Suenens

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#6
(10-27-2017, 01:17 AM)fishfarmer Wrote: Izzy, thought of U today as the 50 mph winds and the freezing rain and no sun got me down and it was a long long day! Still Happy too be alive and well and it is something we must deal with? Hope you get more suggestions! Thanks for input Rafterman, bet you are a carpenter as I was once. When I hear the word Raft it reminds me of Tom Sawyer and the small houseboat my Buddy and I built and quit our Job's and travelled 1200 miles down the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers one summer back when I was 25. Take Care Izzy-FF

Hey FishFarmer....it is my pleasure to contribute, but thank you for thanking me for doing so! I got the name "Rafterman" from the movie "Full Metal Jacket". It was the nickname of one of the soldiers. The funny thing is that the soldier with that name had a tiny little part in the movie. His character was totally forgettable, but I thought the name sounded cool. lol. Have a great day.

(10-26-2017, 09:24 PM)Izzy76 Wrote: Yep, I would agree that FF, it probably affects more of us than we all realize, but I guess everyone feels a bit fed up in the winter months wherever they live, I mean who doesn't like long summer days with a bright blue sky and all that?! And yes, I definatley find that upping my intake of certain Vitamins helps me feel better at this time of year!
As always, Thankyou and bless ya, FF!

Rafterman, Thankyou for sharing!  And no nothing about ones mental health can sound too weird to disscuss, especially so if your the one that is or has been in the middle of it! And it should never be above any kind of disscusion, though it may depend on the person and the timeing I guess - "eye of the beholder" and all that!  
But it's a real comfort to some out there, just to know there not alone in this - Personally I don't mind posting about my own Mental health issues, infact these days as I get older, it often helps myself with understanding my own issues!
I am more inclined to open up with my personal experiances - especially so as I get older - even if it has the potential to help just one person it can't hurt, if the worst I can do is sound like a fool to some, but create a real connection to just one other then it's worth it...Hell, if we don't talk about these things and how they make us feel, then we will just become more vunerable to it and feel like we stick out, what with the pressures that society can put on us when we are at our lowest...That would be such a great shame, as many peoples issues can be greatly lessend, even just by listening or talking to someone sharing out thier own life experiances. And hell - even just to find out your not alone can be a real life relief to some of us!  
Not so long ago, this, along with many other mental health issues, had one of them "Just get on with it", kinda attitudes. esp. on the subject of SAD/Depression, it is even frowned upon in some places and sadly for some people it still is...

So, I Thank-you Rafterman for your input - it is also very much appriciated my friend! Bless you!
Thank YOU, Izzy. It is also a great relief to find others who are willing to open about such things. Like you, I have also begun to do so more and more as I have aged. And it really does help. Your willingness to tell of your experiences surely helps anyone who comes across your posts. I am really happy that there are people like you out there. Have a fine day!
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#7
Couple things worked for me.Wife got me a lap dog who goes everywhere with me.Go outside more.
Disabled Veteran.Heavily medicated for your safety Blush
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#8
I feel a need to add to this. I've had SAD for years, and finally "diagnosed" about 15-17 years ago. I too did the lightbox thing. This is STRICTLY my opinion, but it was useless for me. Izzy, that is so cool u can get them from hospitals in the UK. Here, it is never covered by any type of public or private insurance, so that was a huge waste of $300. (The one my doc insisted I needed and would work.)
Oh, and it HAD to be used at 6am, no exceptions. I was in the middle of my strict sleep hygiene phase, so it sucked, but wasn't that big of a deal.

I live in Chicago so we have short days, snow, and cold that can not be described. A couple of years ago we had 2 winters in a row with a "Polar Vortex." Google it, it is interesting. Many many days with the wind chill between -60-80 degrees F. But so many people died from it. When it is cold and dark, who wants to go outside? I leave for work in the dark, come home in the dark, and every so often get to look at the light outside a window. Who wouldn't be down from that? Oh, also I made sure my apartment was within 2 blocks of EVERYTHING I needed, so besides work, I never left the hood in the winter. Groceries on the corner, dry cleaners, gym and mall a block away, you get the picture.

What was said earlier about the vitamins is very true. Be vigilent with the Vitamin D, and if you can and like it, drink a couple of glasses of milk every day. Obviously, your body needs other vitamins, but research and figure out what they are and for what reason--be careful not to overdo it. Vitamin D is the only one that has the potential to help with SAD from my understanding.

With me, it sucks right now with the darkness, but we don't change our clocks until Nov. 5th. Really the super bad part of SAD doesn't hit me until January. Jan and Feb are the absolute worst for me, and I can relate to what you wrote about, at least during those months.

2 things that seemed to help me many years ago:

1. Working out at a proper, indoor gym. Even if you aren't into working out, just riding a stationary bike, or swimming for 20 minutes (or longer) really did uplift my mood tremendously. As much as I mostly didn't want to, I forced myself to do it every other day except Sunday. Lol, believe me, I still despise the stairmaster, and for the first 2 weeks could only do it for 5 minutes. But you do quickly build strength and endurance. I think it is important to note that while exercising, at least at first, pick things you even kind of enjoy. For example biking and swimming were my thing.

2. I don't know if u have them in the UK, but I bought a very cheap package and went to a tanning booth 3 times a week in the evening. You are getting the light, (for me) a tan, and it felt like pampering myself. You can relax, clear your mind, listen to your favorite music, etc. For me it was incredible, and something to look forward to, which also can help one's mood.
Unfortunately, I don't do that anymore because of face and neck wrinkles that come with age. I can't cover my face with a towel, because that is the whole purpose. And Audrey Hepburn does not take kindly to wrinkles. Smile

I am sorry u are going thru this, especially to this extent. I hope some tips people are posting can help you. And good luck to you!
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#9
Sorry to see  anyone suffer with depression as it sucks overall.I have it coupled with my bipolar.
Disabled Veteran.Heavily medicated for your safety Blush
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#10
Heart 
Apologies, as it seems that I have forgotton to come back to this thread since I last posted in it...

Thank-you for your posts!(FishFarmer, Rafterman, Gemini(I'm glad this was of some help for you!),Cajun Bulldog and Miss Hepburn) And for sharing your experiences, suggestions and general input...It genuinely has made feel a little more positive about it all...

Miss Heapburn - yeah I guess it kinda helps; sharing my experiences of this(certainly for me at least, just by writting stuff down helps..and maybe the thread might be of help for a few others too).  Lol, I'm also kinda glad it's not just me that found using that light-box a completely useless and total waste of my time and energy!  
Though I guess for some people, they really do work wonders for them which is great, so I would suggest they are definetley worth trying if you get SAD, or a "low mood" during these darker, winter months.  But for some of us at least, I guess it's simply because were all very different and everyone responds differently to certain treatments...

I think your all spot on about taking more excercise...And even though sometimes(most times, if I'm honest!), I really have to push myself into starting it...once I get going I find it is probably one of the best remedys for SAD.

For me personally cycling seems to do it for me - with the added benefit of getting me outside of the house; while at the same time doesn't raise my social anxiety too much when I'm out on the bike; as I can ride where I like (in the quieter areas), and I don't feel like I'll end up in one of those "awkward conversation moments" - I guess I like having the ability of not having to stop if I don't feel like socialising that day! Though I still hate those moments; as it makes me feel like I'm being rude and that maybe people think I am just being ignorant, even though it's really not the case - but I just keep running lol! 

Also the extra increase of vitamins are really important to take as well, especially from what I have read and have also been told by my GP.

However, even though I do get why it would help with SAD, what with being under a bright UV light and all, but I just don't see myself going into a tanning saloon and/or booth anytime soon! ;P

Also Audrey, I really can't imagine how it feels to have SAD, and suffer with Insominia at the same time.  Especially at the levels I understand your insomnia to get to at times(and, I do "kind of understand" a little bit anyhow, about insomnia at those levels, as one of my younger brothers has it much like you do - at a similar kind of level to that of your own. (Though I guess it's like anything of that nature(Like my own BPD), you have to live with it or to have a first hand experiance to really understand what it is truely like to live with). My brother has been under psychologists and sleep therapists for year after year now, all trying to figure out how to "control" his insomnia as best as possiable, and even though he has tried all the medications they can think to throw at it, and also tried out the "technological" types of treatments(Even some experimental ones!), nothing has really helped him have any decent level of improvment with his sleeping, they've made little/no difference tbh...and "true" insomnia really is an awful thing to live with - it can really mess with even the the most basic things and especially daily routines in a persons life, things most of us wouldn't even think of, or naturally take for granted.
 
With me, Sleeping and SAD affect me in completely the opposite way to that, maybe it's because depresion also has that same affect on a lot of people to, making them feel tired or low in mental energy.  Somedays, it makes me feel serverly tired for most of the day, and I just want to go to sleep...I mean, desperetely so!  Somedays, it comes over me just a couple of hours after getting up in the morning, even after feeling well rested having a decent nights sleep, then it starts to really mess up my sleep routine during the night when I have to "nap" during the day (I say "nap", but honestly it can be 3-4 hours or more) on some days, and in quite a deep state of sleep too, especially so in the afternoons! Though in all honesty, some days I don't know how I would get through them if I did not get like that, or was not able to sleep through some of the "more darker or depressing states" as it kinda helps - it's just a way of escaping it all, I guess...

But, I honestly cannot imagine not being able to mentally shut down, or not having the option or ability to sleep through some of that kind of depression, especially so on the really bad days, it must be so overwhelming at times.

Even though I know we all have our own issues to bear, it's the ones that are compounded on top of other issues that are our most difficult in life - and that one, it must be a real tough one I would imagine... My heart really goes out to you, Miss Hepburn...


Anyhoo, thanks all for your help and advice, or just for listening...


Be well, and Bless you all!
Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path...
And leave a trail... of Love, Laughter and Understanding.
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