Winter depression. It’s not all in your head. It’s a form of SAD, which is an acronym for Seasonal Affective Disorder. SAD can happen during any season, honestly. It just happens for most people each year during the same season. An example? I find the winter blues hit me about mid-December. Days are shorter, and the cold weather gets me down. Like, my energy is just destroyed, and I can never get enough sleep. However, I can’t seem to sleep, because I’m overthinking everything and causing anxiety. Good times.
Winter Depression – it’s a form of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
First, let me tell you that there’s also SAD that happens for people who live in warmer weather. It happens when it gets to summer, and the depression is brought on my heat and humidity, not so much the lack of daylight hours (and for me, the unbelievably bitter cold that adds to my sadness.) I’ve been told the cold isn’t really a factor in my seasonal depression, but I have be honest…. if I go away to a warmer climate during the winter months, I’m much less depressed. Soooo, for me, I truly believe it is a combination of the lack of daylight hours, and the cold.
Second, SAD isn’t something to ignore. If you’re going through your year, every year, without a true bout with depression, and then suffer with depression each year at the same time of year – it’s more than likely SAD. It can be treated for many with a little light therapy, and some even take meds that increase serotonin in the brain. Personally, I’m just relying a bit more heavily on my therapist and friends to get through the winter. Once the clocks change, now that I understand I have depression, I do know it’ll take me a few days to kind of break out of the winter blues.
It’s a learning process every day
I wouldn’t have known I even have depression without having finally asking for help. Going through all the years, in my talks with her, have opened up my eyes to the struggles I have endured for years. It’s crazy to think I should have been getting help for most of my life. I quickly block those thoughts, though. It’s not a good idea to go backwards. The best thing I do each day is learn more about my depression, the triggers for my anxiety, as well as my depressive states. It’s important for me to focus on the future, but not too far into the future. I keep looking forward, and forcing myself not to look back, because I’m unable to change the past.
However, understanding my patterns, helped my therapist break the news to me: you’re one of the ones who has SAD, and that’s okay. As she told me a few times “now you know, now you have the tools to work through it. No weakness, just empower yourself!”
Damn straight. And now, I can share with others, and perhaps just one other person will realize what is going on in his, or her, life and won’t feel so alone. If you’re out there, it’s not all in your head, my friend. It’s real. Talk to someone TODAY.