Little Miss Merry Sunshine I Ain’t

It’s winter and I’m sad. This is so frustrating because I’m actually a very happy person. I love my life, yet I feel sad for no reason. 
 
It seems I’m sad because I have SAD—Seasonal Affective Disorder otherwise known as the “Winter Blues.” 

SAD makes me mad. And a bit embarrassed to be honest. It kind of sounds made up or like some lame excuse to be bitchy or mopey or lazy.
 
I’m not just craving a trip to Florida or a day at the spa. My body physically reacts to this time of year in a bad/sad way.
 
And FYI, this is not PMS and it’s not lack of sleep. These two elements certainly don’t help matters, but I’ve been dealing with this affliction since I was 19 years old. I know what it is and and what it is not. January/February is the peak, but come late March, I’m happy-go-lucky once again.

 
Symptoms (of which I have EVERY one) include:

-change in appetite, in particular a craving for sweet or starchy foods
weight gain
-decreased energy
-fatigue
-tendency to oversleep
-difficulty concentrating
-irritability
avoidance of social situations
-feelings of anxiety and despair

There is no confirmed cause for SAD, though it’s thought to be related to seasonal variations in light. There’s also a chemical element where neurotransmitters in the brain that help regulate sleep, mood, and appetite are disturbed.
 
I read that only small percentage of people of have true, textbook SAD (But here’s me, waving my hand…sadly.). I know a lot of people who experience exactly what I do every winter. We’re not making this up. We don’t want to feel this way. We’re sad about SAD.

Can SAD be “cured?”
 

Time outdoors during the day, “Light Therapy,” and exercise certainly help. Dietary changes and taking a vitamin D supplement are also important. There are medications that can ease symptoms. Some people swear by aromatherapy. But here’s the thing, once you’re gripped by it, it’s hard to do the things you need to DO to dig yourself out. It’s a sad SAD situation.
 
So tomorrow I’m calling my doctor. I clearly need to shed some light on this situation, because feeling like this stinks.

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  • […] Then the other day I was listening to a radio show where the speaker was talking about how our long dark winter has lead to an increase in SAD symptoms which relates directly to anxiety and depression. She said that an unprecedented number of people are struggling with anxiety because of Seasonal Affective Disorder.  […]

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