Saturday, December 5, 2009

Its an unsunny Saturday...

And its raining, so its gonna be a lazy one.

On thing I learned while living in Michigan is that the color of the sky can effect your mood. Its unfortunate, but this is true. I have (what is politely known as) Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. Lucky me.

When the sky is sunny, blue or even bright and white with clouds, things are swell. Even at night, when the sky is clear, I'm okay. But on dreary days such as today, when grey is all you see as you look up, the effects trickle down into moods. Like mine.

SAD is (another) form of depression, which occurs according to the seasons, most often winter. (HELLO December!) It has a number of symptom, including:
* Afternoon slumps with decreased energy and concentration
* Carbohydrate cravings
* Decreased interest in work or other activities
* Depression that starts in fall or winter
* Increased appetite with weight gain
* Increased sleep and excessive daytime sleepiness
* Lack of energy
* Slow, sluggish, lethargic movement
* Social withdrawal

So, out of those 9 symptoms, I can honestly say that I experience 6 of them on the regular, and about 4 or 5 of them as I type this. This is something that I have spoken to Dr. A about, he is going to have me begin light therapy treatments for this. Basically, you sit in a small room with a special type of bright light, which is supposed to mimic sunlight, for a period of time. It sounds crazy (or even like something you should be able to do at home!), be honest, it is. Who woulda thunk it, right?

Well...I've tried it. And no, I can't mimic this at home. The smallest room in my house is a huge storage closet (beyond the bathroom, I mean), and it isnt very well lit. Besides that, I dont have a lamp that would provide enough light, and although I would love to take a shopping trip to IKEA for one, now is not the time. My insurance pays for this treatment (Thank God for that-the insurance and them being willing to pay), so I will take my book/laptop/iPod and get my hour in the manmade sun on!

For my readers information, I was able to find a bit of info that may help you recognize this, should you feel that you may deal with this, or know someone who may. I am not a doctor, and do not claim to be one, but should you see these symptoms, the affected person should seek professional help.

The disorder may begin in adolescence or early adulthood. Like other forms of depression, it occurs more frequently in women than in men. Most people with the "winter blahs" or "cabin fever" do not have SAD.

The cause of SAD is not known, but it is thought to be related to numerous factors, including:

* Ambient light (this one is me, for sure!)
* Body temperature (I am always the opposite of everyone else)
* Hormone regulation (Once again, this is me!)

A rare form occurs in the summer.

Hopefully, you have gotten something out of this. I find that discussing these issues makes me Think about them more, and Suffer from them less (although I don't like to say I Suffer from the depressions; instead I DEAL with them!)

Have a wonderful, unsunny day!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Yonna: I have had my very own lightbox for years and, when I need it, I keep it on a timer.

    SAD is no joke. I feel you, Sis. Try to take your vitamins, stay well hydrated and follow doctor's orders. Remember that carbs are sugar, so they will affect your insulin level and make the depression worse.

    Love you lots, Sis!!!