Every year, as soon as Halloween has come and gone, an icy sense of impending dread fills me. Winter is coming, and I have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). What am I going to do?!
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a form of clinical depression which is affected by seasons’ change and lack of sunlight. The disorder causes low serotonin levels, thereby causing low moods, too. Think of SAD as a bad case of the winter blues, times a thousand.
As a spoonie, I often have days when I question how capable I am of functioning like a healthy person. In winter, when SAD is the ringmaster, I feel like an elephant trying to balance on a tightrope; I’m clumsy and unsure of myself and I know I’m going to fall into a deep pit of depression. It’s just a matter of time. SAD and all my year-round symptoms together? That’s almost too much to bear.
Thanks to my disability worsening in the past year, I’m under-employed. So I don’t have the funds to escape to a warmer climate or to hire someone to help me with my business and around the house. I know that going out and catching some rays helps a lot, but when I can’t leave the house at the best of times, what am I to do in winter?
I’ve had SAD almost all my life, and have been a spoonie (though I didn’t know it until I was 21) since my late teenage years, and I always manage to survive winter. I’m definitely more resilient than I give myself credit for. But when winter creeps closer and closer, I panic. Every single year.
Do you have SAD? How do you cope?