Seasonal Depression – Whats It Like?
The daylight grows shorter and so does your mood. You feel tired all the time and hungry. You want cookies and toast. The jokes that used to make you laugh don’t. Cute bunnies still make you smile, but the ahhh of cuteness just isn’t there. You don’t want to be around anybody, just a blanket to cuddle with. The worst is that you feel like your life is worth nothing. You only seem to think of the stupid things you’ve done or said. You only remember the dumb things you’ve done.
I always figured seasonal depression, was due to the end of the year coming. I figured that I was facing the end of a year one way or the other and was looking back on my life and finding little. Those little things that make me irritated like traffic or dirty dishes left in the sink make me angry. The anger is followed by sadness, and then I feel hollow. I feel nothing. I am perfectly happy to sit and just stare.
I never paid much attention before. The depression came and it went, twice a year just like clockwork. But this year it seemed to come on sudden like. I decided to do some research. Maybe there was something I could do. Through research, I have discovered that I am not alone, that seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is actually pretty common, especially in women. It is thought to be caused by hormones being out of whack. Genetics, age and your body’s natural chemical makeup all play a role in SAD.
A lot of research has been done on the reduced amount of sunlight you are exposed to in fall and winter. This messes with the regulation of your body’s internal clock telling you when to sleep or be awake. Reduced sunlight may also cause a drop in serotonin, a brain chemical that affects mood. Finally, research shows that melatonin, a sleep related hormone, increases during winter.
A therapy known as light therapy has shown a lot of good results. You have to purchase special light bulbs that simulate sunlight and basically stare at them for 30 minutes or so every day. More suggested therapies include: getting outside every day, getting plenty of exercise and eating right. If your symptoms are more severe, it is suggested that you seek out group or private therapy.
According to the Chinese, everything has a yin and yang which are opposite forces that complement each other. Yang is positive and yin is negative. In nature, the yin cycle begins in autumn and continues into spring. This winter cycle is associated with our kidney system, the root of our Qi (pronounced Chee) or our energy. During winter it is natural to crave foods high in calories the help keep the body warm. Unfortunately this screws up the natural balance in the body and throws off the Qi. Once again it is recommended to get outside, exercise and eat right. Acupuncture is also recommended.
Staying healthy has always been a great concern of mine.