Seasonal Affective Disorder

My Christmas-induced bouncing off the walls tends to crash within the 5-7 days leading up to the big day. Anybody I didn’t buy gifts for, or send gifts to, or even wrap the presents of, are about to get screwed if I’ve already crossed that threshold. I still have presents from 2019 that haven’t been mailed; 2020 isn’t looking good either.

I guess the issue is the sun. Or perhaps I go too hard with the Christmas spirit and burn myself out a little too early. It’s likely both, given my condition. What I am sure about is that 3 straight days of sleeping in until 4 PM (currently working on the 4th) is an exercise in depression, and not just being tired.

I’m not sure what the point of this thread is other than to tell you that SAD really does exist. I’m also willing to bet that there are other people here that are also experiencing it right now, or are about to start, or have seen it already. So bring your sleeping bag on over and let’s have a slumber party or something, yawn.

I always thought I started getting sad starting around sept, then greatly improving about now (late dec). Very consistent for like 20 years now. Starting to think it is the shortening days vs lengthening days.

not quite SAD that you are experiencing, but I can relate to what seems like an inevitable time of sadness every year.

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Increase your intake of Vitamin D.

The actual Vitamin D . . . not the euphemistic Vit D.

For 2021, start the increased intake around late Sep early Oct.


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Aren’t you in NC now? Should affect you less than it would if you were in Canada.

Not necessarily; I’ve read somewhere (the internet, maybe?) that liberal use of sun screen can impede Vitamin D absorption from the sun.


I’m hesitant to ask questions here, as you have a history of being disarmingly open and honest with us randoms, and I don’t know if I can pull off the subtlety to ask the question I want to. Disclaimer stated, here I go…

What I’ve always wondered about SAD is; we all have good days and bad days mentally during the year for whatever reasons, and each have a different range of ups and downs. Is SAD a case of the season forcing a string of bad days upon you, or is something harsher?

Go tell hubby to put on his pants… slowly. :wink: :upside_down_face: :hugs:

SAD is about feeling low when there’s not enough sunlight. I have a mild instance of it. I have trouble waking up before dawn. I also have trouble getting “started” in the morning when it’s overcast, and there’s but enough sunlight. I just have more energy and feel better when i get enough light.

It’s not vitamin D. I take vitamin D, and get plenty of that. I mean, maybe being more in vitamin D again causes problems, but getting enough definitely doesn’t prevent SAD. My understanding is that light affects the pineal gland. I dunno.

By the way, i like winter (especially bright, sunny days in winter) and i like the dark. So long as i get enough hours of bright light.

I have a very mild instance.

I have invested in a lot of bright lights with as full a spectrum as possible (and plenty of blue) in my house. They help. I’m super sad that my awesome crazy-bright halogen sconces burned out. The LEDs just aren’t there, yet, although the best of them are okay.

I lol’d

I attribute this week’s oversleeping to SAD because it seems to happen every year around the same time - but maybe it is more related to my overzealous Christmas spirits getting abruptly smooshed once the date has passed - I’m not sure. I suppose I will ask my future therapist what they think.

I can’t say that anything else has got me down at the moment. I’m sad about losing my cat for sure, and I seem to grasp on to that whenever the female specific hormones have got me in the throws of you-must-be-mad-or-sad-about-SOMETHING-Tiff, SO WHAT IS IT!!!??

But everything else is just… great. I’m really, really happy with where my life has taken me this year, last year, whatever. A particular someone makes me feel happy and loved every single day. And his kids. And his family. And everything in between.

I’m so lucky.

I mean, I’m not sure this is going to help answer my question, but I’ve got to give this a “yay”.

The beer made the question hazy last night…

Are you asking if SAD is something worse than a string of bad days?

My mother, who lives in the far north Midwest, has a special full spectrum lamp that she uses in the mornings during the winter. She vouches by it.

I play golf no matter how cold it gets. It helps.

Just to make it clear, from my own personal perspective, yes, it has been more than just a string of a few bad days. I think this particular period is much more akin to the peak of symptoms, rather than the beginning of such.

I noticed as early as late November that my weight loss trend was flattening, and now reversing, (despite very little change to my daily habits). I’ve started to crave sugar again (I binge eat jellybeans when I’m stressed). Alcohol is taking the edge off more than I would like it to now (this symptom being the reason I sought out medications for anxiety in the first place). Other physical manifestations that I don’t really want to get into on the internet, such as a prolonged cycle (you’re welcome for that) and consistent muscle & back pain.

I take much of these symptoms for granted, and don’t often feel the need to spell them out to people, since I’m not really trying to prove anything. But if you wanted to know if I know the difference between a bad day and a depressive episode, well, I didn’t get diagnosed Bipolar because I was a little sleepy sometimes.

The worst two depressions of my life were at 15 and 16 in November/December/January. The age 15 one had long-term effects (definitely contributed to a couple college rejections) with that 1.5 GPA semester when I pretty much stopped trying… at anything. I FAILED BAND. Literally.

I’m a night owl by default, with no problems staying up til 4 am and sleeping in until the afternoon. Early bird wife who doesn’t like it when I’m asleep past 10 helps a lot :wink:

Thank you. I think that is what I’m asking, I was trying not to be too crass, and may have ended up too British…

I’m interested because Mrs Waiting has her own issues (no details here, but they are the diagnosed kind) so I’m well aware what a string of bad days can be like - which is why I avoided the j word - and I guess I was after a bit of perspective on how SAD sits next to that.

For people prone to depression, I don’t think SAD is much different than what an off-season bout of depression would look like - just with a more identifiable, annoyingly consistent trigger that looms about.

My nurse talked about some people having to do cyclical increases/decreases to their medications according to the time of year - I might consider this idea for myself.