It can be a bitch.
Now, I’m not necessarily talking about snow and ice. What I’m referring to is closer to seasonal affective disorder. While the change in seasons has always been problematic for me (and my first two psych hospitalizations were in January), lately I’ve been noticing that if it isn’t sunny in the morning, my day is pretty much ruined.
Take today, for instance. Rainy, dark, and cool. I just couldn’t handle it. While I was able to get up to eat, take my meds, and take care of the pets, the rest of the day was spent in bed napping or awake but exhausted. My pricey several years old dawn simulator has been on the fritz (turns on or off on a whim, the time is always wrong no matter how many times I try to set it, the FM radio which only gets static turns on at inconvenient times), so I’ve been at the mercy of nature when it comes to getting up at a decent hour.
For about the past year and a half, I’ve been able to go to bed at ten P.M. and get up at ten A.M. pretty regularly. My new goal is to get up at nine A.M. consistently for a good amount of time and then push it back to eight A.M. Lately I’ve noticed that the fall weather has been seriously messing with this plan. But even when there are days where that extra hour I’m normally losing with my new goal is all I need to function and have a good day, there are other days when the lack of sunlight sends my mood into a pitfall and the depression and exhaustion just get to me. A lot of people who experience depression or the depressive lows of bipolar disorder but who don’t quite fit into the DSM’s definition of actual seasonal affective disorder struggle with this as well. And, honestly, I’m pretty sure a lot of neurotypical people experience seasonal blues also.
This is something I most definitely plan on bringing up to my med provider on our next visit. It’s just not practical to be at the mercy of the fickle New England winter weather and spend one or two days a week depressed and bed ridden. In the meantime, I’m hoping easing into wakefulness with listening to music in the morning and switching the light on right away will help.
How do you deal with the seasonal blues or SAD?