A lot of people would categorise themselves as sufferers of S.A.D. For the uninitiated S.A.D. stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder, and is described by the NHS website as a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern. What is commonly assumed is that S.A.D. is only around when we are entering the autumn/fall and winter seasons. In fact it is commonly known as ‘winter depression’.
Now, granted, most people only associate these darker months with their S.A.D. and it is certainly more common in those months. however, there are some of us (including me) who experience the symptoms of S.A.D. at any and all of the seasonal changes.
I didn’t even notice/realise it until recently. Here are some of the tell-tale symptoms for reference:
Feeling lethargic and sleepy during the day beyond what is normal for you.
Persistent low mood.
Sleeping for longer than is usual for you, and finding it hard to get up in the morning.
Feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but hopefully you get the gist. You know your mind after all. It can be difficult to determine what your feelings mean if you already live with other conditions. I know that taking notice of my emotions and when they occur certainly helps me to figure out what is affecting my mood. For those that find mindfulness helpful, the practices you use already can be of assistance here. What I would say is that you should go easy on yourself. If you are finding it difficult or you are thinking about your moods too much (i.e. it’s upsetting or uncomfortable) and it is affecting your life in a negative way, then stop. You don’t need that type of negativity on top of any other stuff you have going on.
I think my aim with this post is to show solidarity with others how have S.A.D. and to let anyone who struggles in the light seasons as well as the dark ones, know that their emotions are valid, even when they don’t adhere to the common trope.
Screw the boxes, we are all our own shapes.
Love to all