It’s All So S.A.D.

Butterly Memory

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) 

Explore light therapies.

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.


RG 2015


38 thoughts on “It’s All So S.A.D.

  1. Every year I suffer from this. My doctor encourages exercise, outdoors, and we also alter my meds. This is a very real affliction and affects more people than we realize.


      1. I agree, Robert, and that’s why I talk openly about being bi-polar. I have had people say things to me like, “I wish I had all of your energy, your talent.” I thank them, but explain that it comes with a heavy price tag. Many don’t believe I suffer, they simply think I’m gifted. And the cycle continues. But my voice continues.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You wrote: “Many don’t believe I suffer, they simply think I’m gifted”

        My reply: God I know that one. I don’t know if you have memory barriers between your moods but with me every day is another day of finding out what I did the day before.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I really struggle with sleep toward the middle of January and have the most insomnia in February. I’m totally going to get a light box this year. Oh the malaise. (I still hate the summer!)


    1. I’m starting to feel better. Oddly, writing about it was such an act of resistance that completing this post acted as an antidote. There is a great deal of truth the the idea that pushing past our worst feelings of fatigue and doubt will create a lift in mood. I have a light box and it helps–It also helps to make sure that I get a full nights sleep.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s amazing how I forget every year that I go through this and every year it takes me by surprise and I have to process it out and remember….If any of that made sense to you then you understand denial. 🙂


  3. I am one of the few who suffers from the opposite- where the spring and especially the summer months bring depression, fatigue and anxiety my way. For whatever reason the shorter days and colder air do me a world of good, and I feel my happiest and most alive in the fall and winter months. I hope you find some relief through the techniques you wrote about above.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Happiness awaits, January 2, 2016. I can’t handle the phony holidays. I found the less I try to force myself to participate and do other, non related things I enjoy, the happier I am. I don’t have an issue with the amount of light, it’s Christmas trees in October when I go to the grocery store. Ho, ho, ho……And yes, I feel bad for being a Scrudge but it is more authentic. The holidays remind us how fragile we are, how broken our families can be and make us feel we are on the outside looking in to a world we can’t relate to. I’ve tried doing a lot of charity things, I’ve tried really getting into the spirit, I’ve tried ignoring them, I don’t know what the solution is, but it is SAD. I hope you find some relief Robert.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do relate to that. There is also the fact that the holiday itself has been stripped of it’s meaning. The display of materialism that attends the celebration of the what people say was the incarnation of God as a Jewish Peasant is revolting but oddly less repulsive to ‘true believers’ than the sight of same sex marriage. Thank you for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, the hypocrisy is astounding and the shredding of what should be a celebration of the birth of someone who tried to show the world that the answer to everything is love, love yourself first so you can love others as you love yourself as you see God in yourself and everyone, we are all the same. It has nothing to do with organized religion which is Hell bent on separation determined by man made beliefs and rules. The only rule is to feel love and compassion for everyone. I was just reading something that said if we are having a day where we are judging ourselves and therefore judging others, take a step back. Look at everyone you see and say “We are exactly alike, that person is just like me.” It has a profound effect after just a few repetitions. I am so nauseated by what Christmas has become. We can’t use the word Christmas as if it were an insult, wishing someone well, but we can say Holiday Tree, even though it is the only holiday that involves a tree and lights. So much more to say on this topic but I will not go there, no need. I refuse to play. That’s all. I do accept that everyone has their own perspective based on their perception of the world they have created for themselves, so be it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Religion is not faith.

        The religiosity we see in public life has nothing to do with faith.

        People of faith don’t tell their religious leaders to screw off when they place faith above politics.

        We live in a dark time that often feels like something out of the most lurid fantasies of power from the most alienated of adolescent boys.

        Is it us? Is it the times? Is this how an intelligent species spends itself?

        Just as we develop the ability to truly expand our awareness we are lost in the daily squalor of shortsighted men who see power as an end to itself.

        How can Christmas tell its story in a culture as adrift as ours?

        Thank you for reading and po0sting such a thought provoking comment. I appreciate it. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I agree. The quest for power and attention seems to have taken over to the level of causing the extinction of love for humanity and the human spirit. Everyone so obsessed with getting everyone to believe as they do and be offended by things that are not offensive, it’s total insanity. We want to be more inclusive yet we separate by a total lack of tolerance for all who don’t agree or seem different. We all have common ground and common desires and needs. I’m so tired of the bickering in politics, religion and the people who hold the power around the world.


      4. What you say is true…but those who profit from chaos do their best to keep it going. To end the bickering everyone will have to transcend the endless hate filled propaganda that we now accept as normal.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Yes, doesn’t seem to be going in that direction, does it? Not until people get exhausted or sick, from being hateful. They hate themselves. Again, the answer always comes back to loving yourself unconditionally. I think it has been this way since the beginning of time.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes…I’ve got one…I’m also going to up my anti-depressant. I’ve been going down your list of nominees. And excellent choice of bloggers. 🙂 And somehow writing about it seems to have cleared my mind.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on survivor road and commented:

    If this is you, if you find yourself anywhere in this post, take special note of the closing statement. This is not permanent. It just feels that way.


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