such_heights: a hand cupping a candle (stock: candle)
Amy ([personal profile] such_heights) wrote2013-09-19 01:03 am

seasonal affective disorder

Autumn has arrived rather firmly here in London, and with it the wave of sad and tired I've come to associate with SAD. This is unusually early for me, so I've been on the back foot, scrambling to get my light box set up and GP appointments scheduled in. But I'm doing okay. Fistbump to everyone else dealing with this at the moment, whether you're in the northern hemisphere with the winter version, or the southern hemisphere and the summer version. (I feel it's maybe not a widely-known fact that some people have SAD that hits in spring/summer? But that is indeed a thing.)

It's an odd thing, a mood disorder that comes with relatively reliable time parameters. Knowing that I'll definitely feel better come spring if not before is reassuring in some ways, but given it's only just autumn now, that's a bloody long time away, and the path between now and then is both treacherous and tedious, to borrow a phrase from Elementary.

In the meantime, one foot in front of the other. I try and take advantage of the good days to shore up progress in the things I want to get done, so it's less dispiriting on bad days and I have more space to breath and just take care of myself.

Something I always find difficult is learning when to push myself and when not to. The idea of leaving the house frequently becomes the worst idea in the world, but often when I manage to do it I feel better afterwards. Other times, it's too much, I call off whatever I was going to do. They're both acts of self-care, but it's always hard to tell which one I need on a given occasion.

Mostly I try and remember that this is a real illness, and that it's understandable for it to have an effect on my capacity to do things. I'm doing my best, and eventually, spring will come around again.

While writing this, I couldn't really think of any specific advice that I had to offer to people other than 'hang in there', but if anyone's got advice on this subject they'd like to share in the comments, I'd be interested to hear it!

Really though, hang in there. ♥
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)

[personal profile] kaberett 2013-09-19 01:18 am (UTC)(link)
but I place one foot before the other, confident because
I know that everything we are right now is everything that was
that Watt Tyler, Woody, Guthrie, Dostoevsky and Davy Jones
have all dissolved into the ether and have crept into my bones
and all the cells in all the lines upon the backs of both my hands
were once carved into the details of two feet upon the sand


-- which is Frank Turner, who is a douche and I do not recommend looking him up for all I keep pitiably giving him money, and also content note for self-harm and poss suicide on the rest of that song, but -- we remain. We are remembered.
wishfulaces: (AGATHA is for SCIENCE)

[personal profile] wishfulaces 2013-09-19 01:33 am (UTC)(link)
Something I always find difficult is learning when to push myself and when not to. The idea of leaving the house frequently becomes the worst idea in the world, but often when I manage to do it I feel better afterwards. Other times, it's too much, I call off whatever I was going to do. They're both acts of self-care, but it's always hard to tell which one I need on a given occasion.

SO TRUE. I don't have SAD, or at least I don't think I do, but there are definitely times when I can't tell what is best for me, mentally. Most of the time I seem to make the right choice, thank goodness.
juniperphoenix: A glowing lantern amid snow (WINTER.)

[personal profile] juniperphoenix 2013-09-19 01:40 am (UTC)(link)
*hugs* It seems to be hitting a lot of people early this year. It's slightly reassuring to know that it's not just me.

One thing that I've found helpful is exercise. I never want to leave the house to go swimming in the wintertime, but when I do I always feel better afterward.

Here's a song that I tend to end up listening to on repeat: December Snow One of these days I will get around to making a SAD playlist with this and "Here Comes the Sun" and similar.
lovelythings: a photo of a red car by a lake and some people having a picnic (team tardis forever)

[personal profile] lovelythings 2013-09-19 02:57 am (UTC)(link)


sheafrotherdon: (tea [with letter by amberlynne])

[personal profile] sheafrotherdon 2013-09-19 03:07 am (UTC)(link)
Heather Armstrong (who writes the blog dooce) had a psychiatrist who told her that March and September are the worst months for fucking with people's minds, because the daylight changes so quickly, and our circadian rhythms get all out of whack. I always remind myself of that this time of year, because it helps me deal with how rapidly my moods seem to come unstuck.

Sending love and daylight and good things!
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)

[personal profile] lilacsigil 2013-09-19 03:54 am (UTC)(link)
I didn't know you could get SAD in summer! I always have a big depression flare-up (or flare-down I suppose) at the start of summer and problems all through it, so I will have to check that out. I thought it was simply me feeling sad about being unable to cope with the heat, but when I think about it, I'm sad when it's not hot, too. Thank you for the info and I hope you're well set-up for this year.
silverhare: drawing of a grey hare (pagan - fire within me)

[personal profile] silverhare 2013-09-19 09:21 am (UTC)(link)
At this point, being a pagan really helps me. The Pagan festivals measure out the time between now and the spring (Sep 23, Oct 31, Dec 21, Feb 2nd), and they remind me that time is a wheel that turns reliably, and will turn to come back to sunlight again. It also kind of reminds me that joy can be found at any point in the year, even the really difficult ones.

I kind of appreciate that this isn't help for anyone who isn't a Pagan. *frowns* Also, though! I re-read Wintersmith and take solace in metaphors. <3
kass: Eleven and Amy hug. (hug)

[personal profile] kass 2013-09-19 11:28 am (UTC)(link)
I hear you and I hug you up.

My SAD is fairly mild, I think, though I get anxious about the short days. I grew up some 2000 miles from where I live now, and the variability in day length was a lot less where I grew up than it is here; here, the midsummer days are deliciously long and lovely, but the midwinter ones are really short. (Not as short as Britain, but they feel short to me!) I always struggle as I anticipate the dark. (And then usually when we get there, it isn't as bad as I feared it would be, but I haven't yet learned how to not-fear it before it happens.)

The idea of leaving the house frequently becomes the worst idea in the world, but often when I manage to do it I feel better afterwards. Other times, it's too much, I call off whatever I was going to do. They're both acts of self-care, but it's always hard to tell which one I need on a given occasion.

THIS -- I feel exactly this way about depression in general.

Anyway. I hear you. I send love.
aria: (Default)

[personal profile] aria 2013-09-19 12:57 pm (UTC)(link)
*hugs* Hang in there yourself :) Sounds like you have good strategies to deal with it, and definitely hit me up for any cheering fannish stuff you'd like me to provide <3

(Also I DID NOT KNOW there was a spring/summer version of SAD! Fuck's sake, I should research this, maybe my crushing unhappiness that hits every time the flowers start blooming is an actual thing and not me being a weirdo.)
ext_29272: (Default)

[identity profile] sunnyrea.livejournal.com 2013-09-19 01:27 pm (UTC)(link)
***hugs***
cosmic_llin: (Default)

[personal profile] cosmic_llin 2013-09-19 03:23 pm (UTC)(link)
Huh, I didn't know there was a summer version. Interesting.

From my non-SAD perspective it does seem like we whiplashed really fast from summer to mid-autumn already so I guess not surprising? Take care of yourself! <3
toft: graphic design for the moon europa (Default)

[personal profile] toft 2013-09-20 12:08 am (UTC)(link)
<3 I'm sorry. You'll have your lightbox etc up and going soon and that'll help make things a bit more bearable, but it's hard to see that time stretching ahead. It sounds like you've got self-care systems in place/in process though, and you're doing well.
forthwritten: looking up through a tree's branches and leaves against a blue sky (the trees they grow high)

[personal profile] forthwritten 2013-09-20 12:14 am (UTC)(link)
*hug*

Yes, spring feels a very long time away. I'm glad you're getting your light box set up and well done for the self-care.
beccatoria: (Default)

[personal profile] beccatoria 2013-09-20 08:38 pm (UTC)(link)
*hugs*

Just keep swimming? And remember you're doing a good job at being a cool human. :)
woldy: (bubbles)

[personal profile] woldy 2013-09-21 01:54 am (UTC)(link)
Keep at it! *hugs*

When I lived in the greyest of grey cities I used a sunlight lamp, which helped a lot. While I know this isn't a solution for most other people, I seem to have resolved my SAD by moving somewhere much, much sunnier year-round. So maybe don't rule that out as a longterm idea?
magnetic_pole: (Default)

[personal profile] magnetic_pole 2013-09-21 02:23 am (UTC)(link)
Hang in there, A. Your self-awareness is inspiring... M.