Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Blue - more than just a colour.

I really struggle at this time of year. 

I used to put it down to the end of the festivities. An excess of socialising had left me tired, exposed to numerous bugs and viruses and seeking solitude. Removing the twinkling lights and tinsel was bound to make everything look dull and uninteresting. A fortnight's diet of rich food was enough to make anyone crave simple pasta dishes and uncomplicated carbohydrates. And after all the hype and excitement in December it was understandable if it was replaced by a certain amount of lethargy in January and February.

I would go in to a sort of 'semi hibernation', sleeping longer, avoiding company and rarely leaving the house. Well if some animals could do it why shouldn't I? Okay, so not much was achieved for two months but I would emerge at the end of March ready to face anything. Surely that wasn't a problem, was it?

A few years ago a friend came to visit me in the middle of my hibernation.
"This is sad you know." she said
"Well a bit unconventional perhaps, but I wouldn't have said sad exactly." I replied
"No, I mean this is S.A.D., Seasonal Affective Disorder. Loads of people suffer from it, but there are things you can do to help alleviate the symptoms"

When she left I summoned up enough energy to have a little Google and see what I could find out about S.A.D. and just how to beat these winter blues. Logically it all made sense. Unfortunately there are times when logic is of absolutely no use whatsoever, unless you happen to be a Vulcan and have your emotions firmly under control. 

Any time I see the word 'depression' logic takes a back seat. 

I suffered a mild case of post natal depression after the boys were born. It took me three months to admit it though. My head knew that the way I was feeling was due to hormones running amok. My emotions on the other hand had me convinced it was because I was a failure as a mother already. I would make a terrible job of bringing up my children if I couldn't even cope at the beginning. If I asked for help I would be admitting defeat and letting everyone know just how useless I was. Fortunately very supportive family and friends got me through it.

Now, according to these articles, it would appear I'm so weak I can't even cope with a change of season without becoming depressed. I'm a failure at getting through the winter!  Yup, those emotions completely failed to register the bits about lack of sunlight, melatonin levels, serotonin levels, you know all the stuff that proves there is a biological reason for feeling the way I do.  

Friends and family came to the rescue once more. Logic was forced back in to the drivers seat and I've taken steps to make winter as bearable as possible. Blinds have been taken down and curtains are open as wide as they'll go to let as much light as mother nature can manage( and to be honest I think some days she could try harder) in to the house. That's been supplemented with a light box and a daily dose of vitamin D. My work table, should I ever get around to actually doing any, has been moved closer to the window. 
I'm back to working two days a week so I have no option but to socialise, while the walk to work gets me out into the light and provides some exercise ( yes I know I should be doing more but hey, baby steps!)

I'm not going to lie and say I've got it completely beaten but, as with most things, once you recognise the problem and admit to having one it no longer has the upper hand. And we all need a little help sometimes. As Eeyore says...

'We can't all, and some of us don't. That's all there is to it.' 


Ali said...

(Might form a more verbal response later)
Ali x

Colette said...

Well done for confronting the problem, I know lots of people that feel this way too - hope you're feeling perkier soon. x x

Flaming Nora said...

Well that would explain the huge suffocating duvet of inertia I have been living under since Christmas! But don't know about where you are, the sun is shining here today and I'm full of life, just wish I could find something more interesting than decluttering the house and workroom to do with it though!

Ali said...

Hi Linnhe,
As you say recognising the problem is the first step...and you seem to be doing lots of positive things to make things work for you. I can completely understand about the conflict of logic vs how you feel. Glad you have good support from your family and friends. Thinking of you and hoping you find you are feeling sunnier soon.
xx Ali

A Time for Stitching said...

Hi Linnhe, Sorry to hear what effect the time of year has on you. I've heard of SAD but don't 'think' I know anyone who suffers from it. I ordered some Vit D the other day though, in the hope of perking myself up a bit (plus other reasons) and will take it every year during the Winter if it helps.
Teresa x
P.S. Love your last post btw!

gtlady said...

Hi linnhe, I think I maybe the opposite to you, I love this time of the year, S.A.D has never affected me. I do get miserable during the summer (not that I'm trying to make light of S.A.D), everyone loving the heat and expecting you too, but at least I can sut myself inside, ignore everyone and feel better. At least you know whats wrong and are taking some measures to lessen the effects slightly and At least it should be only for a few months and as much as I am sure you really don't want to go out, at least being forced to due to work might help a little. I am thinking of you and crossing my fingers for lots of sunshine xx

Linnhe Mara said...

Thanks everyone for your kind wishes ( although I didn't post because I was looking for sympathy :o) )
I think I wrote about SAD to hopefully inform and support anyone who suffers or knows of someone who might suffer from the condition.

Colette and Ali, I am beginning to feel much perkier thanks.

Flaming Nora, just read a report that Dumfries and Galloway had 200 hours less sunshine than average last year. That might explain a lot !

Theresa, Vitamin D is important to take for so many reasons. I don't normally take supplements but, as living in Scotland I'm unlikely to get the usual dose from sunshine, in this case I'm prepared to make an exception. I hope you feel the benefits soon.

Jane, SAD is not limited to winter I'm afraid. The summer blues are referred to as Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder. Might be worth looking in to. :o)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...