Every year about this time I have to fight the urge to go in to a kind of hibernation. I’m usually very active, but 'round about the end of October, my body just seems like it would rather lounge around and get fed. (and, no, I’m talking about watching football!)This usually lasts thru winter, and I’ve had varying degrees of success fighting it over the years.
I’ve self-diagnosed this as a case if Seasonal Affective Disorder. Anyone out there afflicted? How do you cope? I know there are websites, such as http://www.sada.org.uk/ , but I’m curious as to the doper’s perspective.
I thought you were going to say the seasonal depression thing.
Well, they say one hour under a sun lamp or something like that when it starts getting dark helps a lot.
I doubt if I get that because I feel more energetic when it is cooler. I also plan travel for holidays, including Thanksgiving (Nov.), xmas and New Year. So, maybe just being busy with getting things done to be able to travel, and then being in new areas to explore new stuff are factors in not having those symptoms. WAG.
How do you fight it? Does exercise help?
Long-suffering SAD person here. Nothing banishes it, but here’s a few tips…
*Lack of light, rather than cold, seems to be the main cause of the problem, so make maximum use of what daylight there is. DON’T sleep in, even at weekends. There’s nothing more depressing than getting up, having breakfast and then realising it’s dusk.
*Keep your house well lit - use 100-watt bulbs with plenty of lamps in every room.
*Make a point of spending at least an hour every day outdoors in daylight - even if the weather is ghastly
*Start something new and fresh (project, relationship, class) to combat that same-old dead feeling about winter.
Remember that after December 21, the days are getting longer, and things can only get better…
Thank the Lord you don’t live in Scandinavia/Northern Canada where you’d get about 2 hours of daylight if you’re lucky
Sorry if this sounds like a list of tips you’d find in a magazine, but it’s the best I can do. Alternatives include stocking up on whisky, having more sex and massively increasing your post count at the SDMB…
Winter is a good time to start getting in shape and exercising, something that I need to do. I believe that exercise will release endorphins (SP?), therefore making you feel better.
Yes. I hate this time of year, when it feels like it just gets darker and darker. My plan is to sign up for a fencing or aerobics class or something to keep me moving. Exercise does seem to help, although it’s so hard to get motivated. I was lucky enough to have taken a job that has 7 AM - 3 PM hours. This way, even in the dead of winter I get to see a good 2 to 3 hours of sunlight each day. More if I can get outside during lunchtime. Here’s hoping this works!
I’m the opposite. I looooooove fall and winter. Like Violet said, I get energized with the cold weather. Maybe it’s because I live in a state where we rarely get cool weather.
I am affected quite a bit by SAD. Your points are good ones, especially about getting out in whatever light you can get your hands on. When I lived in Stockholm I would occasionally take advantage of one of the public “light rooms” that they have in some malls etc. This involves sitting in a white room, with full-spectrum white lighting and a white sheet around you. Sounds insane, but it makes a difference. Now that I am in the sticks I have to just make sure to get out and walk around a little in the light on my lunch etc. Better to be cold and well-lit than warm and cabbage-state.
Huh. This time of year has the best, most beautiful weather in South Carolina. (Okay, maybe not today. But last week!)
I have a good friend that seems to experience Seasonal Affective Disorder… perhaps I will pass the above suggestions on to him.
Like Lisa-go-Blind, I love the Fall and Winter - I’m sorry that this time of year is so hard on y’all. Hang in there.
Why do they have to give these things names? Whatever happened to “Rain makes me a bit gloomy.” ???
Lots of outdoor activities will help lessen the effects of SAD when the days are short and the nights are long. Indoor activities are best undertaken in places with lots of lighting. For that reason, I prefer to drink my beer at Simon & Seaforth’s at the end of Fifth Avenue in Anchorage.
Wow, I didn’t know there was a name for that! I always get mopey around this time of year. I am NOT a cold weather person, so I just want to stay inside by the fireplace all day!
I have to agree. There has been a lot of research into SAD, basicly coming down to the fact that not enough sunlight causes depression (well depression like symptoms). I wonder if there has been any research into the opposite.
I feel more “me” in the winter. I live somewhere with good summers (once they arrive) and I love a day at the beach. I do find my depression is worse in the summer though.
Let some light into the house. Working night shift, I somehow got it in my head that I needed my bedroom as dark as one of those isolation tanks, so three years ago, I proceeded to block up the only window with black poster board, covered by black trashbags, black blinds and “black-out” curtains.
I then closed the door and proceeded to plug up every “light-leak” I could find: I covered the VCR clock with black electricians tape, turned the screen on my telephone off and after I closed the bedroom door, I put one of those long door wind screens in front of it.
Well, lately I noticed myself spending more and more time in bed and less time out on my bike. I was also much more reserved than normal and co-workers were beginning to ask me if I was sick.
(I even posted a thread here about going completely nocturnal!)
I decided to make some changes: I tore down the Scheiss-Stuff on my bedroom window, ripped off the tape, opened the blinds (Did I mention I also have black blinds in my living room and kitchen?) and the windows and let some air in!
Guess what? I sleep just as well in the daytime without all that stuff, and I feel more rested when I get up. I also don’t spend as much time in bed and my depression has lifted.
Now Christmas is coming up and that’s a tough time for me, as it is for a lot of folks. My birthday’s on New Year’s Eve and I’m not in a relationship at the moment, so that’s gotta be handled. But it will be handled and not by lying in bed through it all.
Popping back in with a link with some more info.
Don’t mix up SAD and “bleh, winter sucks”, there is quite a difference. I experience a sort of “background” anxeity most of the winter, and in general can’t bring myself to do anything because it is too much effort. This includes pleasant things such as socialising etc as well as horrible things like cleaning the house. When spring comes around I bounce back so fast I almost get whiplash, and realise that I have been like a zombie all winter. I usually get a bit hyper if spring comes suddenly.
Hits me like a brick around this time of year. Last week was pretty hellish, because I always seem to -forget- it’s going to happen. In response, I do what I always do; I make certain my blinds are open at home, and I look out the window a lot, especially when it’s nice out. The sunlight really -does- seem to help.
There is a rather simple cure, you know… do as I did, and move to Florida
A screened balcony, afternoon sunlight, and a fountain will cure pretty much anything.
Meh. Hard for me to tell how much of it is regular S.A.D and how much is just plain dread of the holiday season. (Hate my family [for real, not just typical familial squabbles], hate Christmas/Hanukah in a family that does both, have heavy social anxiety and a big-ass family).
OTOH, I like winter weather better than summer, so I get outside plenty.
I am, as some would say, a complete nut-job.
Yep, every year. October and February are the worst, though. I think it’s because we always get our first snow fall in October ( not until the 23rd this year, that’s sort of late) which means that the perfect weather of early fall is ending, and by February it’s been cold and dark for months, so it’s just so wearing. The holidays help a little since they’re something to look forward and spend energy on, but the week after Christmas is really depressing too.