Saturday, February 28, 2009

I can see a little light

I have been SAD since October. Not just sad, but really SAD. Seasonal Affective Disorder. SAD is depression caused by winter lack of light. When I first heard of SAD years ago, I scoffed. I was derisive. "Another excuse made up by malingerers" I thought. Until my yearly Autumn descent into lethargy, dark thoughts, and constant fatigue became too scary to try to deal with on my own. I finally sought medical help and, depending on the year,I have sometimes required pharmaceutical assistance to get through the darkest days. This is hard to admit.

And if Tom Cruise reads this I will be subjected to a lecture on the evils of antidepressants and the natural joy of Scientology. Yah, Yah, I know what you're thinking: "She is not only depressed, she is delusional if she thinks Tom Cruise reads her blog, or even if he stumbled on it he'd give a rat's ass about her SAD".

But Tom, I don't need Scientology now. While it's true I am still soooo tired, and wake up every morning with ennui, I feel a tiny bit hopeful. Not because I actually feel better, but because I see the signs that assure me I really will feel better soon. Thank goodness I live where the first signs of spring arrive early.

I shot these photos on our walk to the dog park today:

Winter is on the wane. I'm gonna be O.K.


Carver said...

These are such gorgeous shots of spring arising. I am glad you sought help for SAD. That to me is the best thing to do. I have certainly sought professional help at times of depression myself.

Ian Lidster said...

You and me both, love. I suffer grievously from it in terms of lowered mood and fatigue and it leads me to wonder why I persist in living on the wet west coast rather than someplace desert-ish, like Palm Springs, or tropical like Hawaii. When I was in the south of France for three weeks a couple of years ago, and was still in shirtsleevs in early November, under clear skies, I thought that would work for me, too.
So ncie to see you here. Always nice to see you.

Dumdad said...

I certainly find winter more and more depressing as I get older.

And I posted a photo of crocuses in my garden today - possibly in an effort to fool myself that Spring was on its way. Well, it is but there's some colder weather predicted later...

Anonymous said...

SAD has a clear biological basis, the amount of melatonin produced in the brain being linked to light. I for one am glad for the lengthening days and the return of warmth. I posted a crocus pohto last week - it's coming.

Voyager said...

Carver, Fortunately we now live in a time when depression does not carry such a stigma. It is not a failure of will, or something one can just "snap out of".

Ian, We live in one of the worst climates for SAD sufferers. January this year was dreadful, 18 days of thick fog. The rest of the days were rainy and overcast. And then last week we got some snow again!!WTF? Take care, sun will return, the crocuses promise it.

Dumdad, But you get to look forward to April in Paris! That would help get me through a winter for sure.

Citizen, It is comforting to know there is a biological basis. Still, some people are not affected at all by the lack of light, yet it clobbers me. Makes me feel defective somehow.


Jocelyn said...

The fact that your body is attuned enough to pick up on the first glimmers of spring shows how much the seasons affect us. For the first time this year, specifically this last month, I felt a taste of SAD. The way it permeates everything is amazing.

Here's to the tulips!

Jazz said...

Lucky you. Winter gives no sign of waning on this end of the country. We're especting maximums in the order of -7 to -10 all week.

Someone just shoot me now.

Big Brother said...

Flowers, hell we're still covered in snow. I sometimes wonder how many Canadians suffer from the lack of sunlight in the winter... I think we'd be surprised. I know that I try to get outside whenever it is sunny, not matter how cold it is. Just having the sun shining on my face is wonderful at this time of year.

Voyager said...

Jocelyn, We can always dream about spending winters in Fiji, or Jamaica, or Thailand , or.... sigh.

Jazz and big brother, At least you get some sun. I love winter days when the sun sparkles off snow. Here it is pretty much overcast from October to April.