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Seasonal Affective Disorder

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by KnuteRockne, Mar 20, 2007.

  1. KnuteRockne

    KnuteRockne Member

    Not that this is the first time I've thought about this, because I've read up on it during the winter, as well. But this morning, as I was driving to work in the sunshine and nicer temperatures with all of our snow finally melted, listening to a good song turned up on the radio, it suddenly occurred to me, "Goddamn, I'm in a good mood! Where has this come from???"

    It was a seemingly endless winter, and it seems like they get worse and longer for me every year, to the point that my wife has suggested I seek help for depression symptoms. But, of course, they always seem to dissipate in the spring, so that gets put on the back burner. I think this year was the worst one yet, though.

    I work in an office without windows, which doesn't help and probably exaccerbates things severely, and as I cover football, the winter is the slowest time at the office.

    I'm thinking about trying to get officially diagnosed, but not sure what that would entail. I mean, do you just take Prozac for four months and that's it, every year? I think this is real, though I'm sure there are skeptics out there. I used to be one that scoffed at it for a long time. Should I just wait until next winter to take action? I mean, it is unbelievable how different I feel in the winter and spring. Night and day.
     
  2. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    Take action now. Mental health is too important to wait for next winter.

    That being said, it's doubtful this is solely just a "seasonal" thing, although you really ought to let your doctor make that determination. And if you were to start taking medication, it would be for the long haul, not for a handful of months.

    Good luck.
     
  3. KnuteRockne

    KnuteRockne Member

    Thanks. In actuality, just realizing that something isn't right does wonders, at least as a starting point. Knowledge is power.
     
  4. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Up here it's called Cabin Fever. It was a relatively tame winter by northern New England standards, but I'm ready for spring rebirth. Pretty flowers (red tulips!), girls in shorts and tanks. It's sunny here even though it's supposed to be minus-1 tonight. Mud season's just around the corner.
     
  5. Dyno

    Dyno Well-Known Member

    A doctor would obviously know more about this than me, but I know one way of combatting SAD is with light therapy. You spend a prescribed amount of time every day sitting in front of a light box. I guess the light box mimics the sun enough to help mitigate the effects of the longer, darker days.
     
  6. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    I've got SAD, and my doctor prescribed 15 minutes a day of a sun lamp aimed at the back of my knees. It worked too. SAD has something to do with how much sunlight you get.

    They generally don't prescribe anti-depressents for SAD, IIRC.
     
  7. JR

    JR Active Member

    SAD is a common phenomena--it just affects people differently and it's fairly widespread in Scandinavia.

    Hell, I get depressed when it's dark when I go to work and dark when I go home.
     
  8. Captain_Kirk

    Captain_Kirk Well-Known Member

    It's very real, Knute, although I think I've seen more references to it as Sunshine Affective Disorder.

    Either way, I loves me the sun and warm weather. Cold, dark winters--hate it, hate it, hate it. Fuckers would never, ever end.

    I was never diagnosed but after living 7 years (and 14 winters) in Chicago, I self diagnosed and found the cure. I moved down south. Problem fixed.

    If that's not an option for you, you might want to consider a winter getaway vacation if you can swing it to at least get a few days or a week to recharge. Can be something to look forward to as well when you're sloggin through those gray, dark days.
     
  9. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    I was not aware that SAD was indeed a real phenomenon, even though I lived in Connecticut for several years. SC and Dyno, that's great advice. I never knew there was actually a light box or sun lamp treatment.
     
  10. JR

    JR Active Member

    If I wasn't depressed most of the winter, how would I know I was a Canadian? :)
     
  11. Captain_Kirk

    Captain_Kirk Well-Known Member

    Now, we know why they invented hockey: to keep Canadians occupied during the depressing winters, so they all wouldn't move down here.
     
  12. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    Actually, certain anti-depressants that affect seratonin (ie zoloft and paxil) are pretty common for treating this.

    I get this BAD...never took anything for it, but have been told over and over why it happens, and it's not all in your mind....it's very chemical.

    The symptoms are fairly consistent, and now a whole bunch of you will think, 'wow, that's me!':

    --Cravings for sweet or starchy foods
    --Weight gain
    --Heavy feeling in the arms or legs
    --Lack of energy
    --Fatigue and insomnia
    --Difficulty concentrating
    --Irritability
    --Loss of interest in socializing

    Exercise helps a lot...I should try the light therapy....or start spending the winters in Aruba.
     
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