I have always felt more anxious during the months of November and December.
As I’ve gotten older the seasonal anxiety and loss of concentration is worse.
This past week, especially after ‘falling back” one hour, is especially bad.
I sit down and look up and hours have slipped away.
I interpret the smallest remark as dismissive, or as evidence of my unworthiness.
It feels as if I have no real future and no real past.
This is different from dissociative episodes.
It feels as if I’m drugged, as if my mind is shutting down.
According to MedlinePlus Seasonal Affective Disorder includes the following symptoms:
- Sad, anxious or “empty” feelings
- Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness or helplessness
- Irritability, restlessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
- Fatigue and decreased energy
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions
- Difficulty sleeping or over sleeping
- Changes in weight
- Thoughts of death or suicide
SAD may also include some of the symptoms that are present in other kinds of depression, such as feelings of guilt, a loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy, feelings of hopelessness or helplessness, or physical problems such as headaches and stomach-ache. American Family Doctor
What you can do:
If you are having thoughts of suicide and you think you might act on them call your psychiatrist, or go to an emergency room. Don’t hesitate to call a Suicide Prevention Line in a crisis: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Ask your doctor about anti-depressant medication, if you are taking an anti-depressant don’t stop taking it without consulting your doctor.
Use the internet to connect with other people and to learn: join the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) for a Twitter chat on Thursday, November 13, 2014, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. EST. NIMH expert Matthew Rudorfer, M.D., chief of the Somatic Treatments Program, will answer questions related to SAD. #NIMHchats.
Know that you are not alone: according to Psychology Today 10 million experience the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Give yourself a break. You are not imagining it, you can’t just ‘snap out of it’ and your pain is real.
Know that it will end: The symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder begin to improve after the December Solstice.