Seasonal Affective Disorder is familiar with those that suffer from some form of a depressive episode. My official diagnosis is Bipolar One with a seasonal element. Today I want to discuss what SAD is to me, and what it is for others.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Okay, I have to get this out of the way– winter is coming.
All seriousness I wanted to talk about Seasonal Affective Disorder. It comes in different shapes and sizes (which I mean that the length and time of the year differ for every person.) In this journey since starting this blog, I have met so many amazing people, and some share the effects of that winter has on their depression. Interestingly enough, I never knew that some people suffer more during the summer months, spring, or fall, but this I have found is also rare. It is something about the cold that really changes things.
The staple of the seasonal affective disorder is that it usually begins and ends around the same time every year. I can personally attest to this as I often suffer from the seasonal element to my Bipolar diagnosis around November to about April or early May, but I can feel it starting to turn for me with depression around late September into October, this is very typical.
Last year I talked quite a bit about SAD because it was something that affects me so much and I have never quite had a good winter in years. Over the course of my diagnosis, I have talked at length about SAD, and the consensus is that it comes from the lack of light during the winter months.
One thing that helped me reduce the symptoms of SAD is a light therapy box. I have to tell you this invention is really amazing and it made all the difference last year while dealing with SAD, I found this great article that gives very detailed information in what to look for in a lightbox. It is highly recommended that you talk to your doctor about light therapy.
I wanted to end this post with this positive message that SAD can be controlled to a point where it is manageable. I used to think it was inevitable that during the winter months there is nothing I can really do, but I am always learning new things. Yes, I still do worry about the winter time because depression is an inevitable part of my mental illness. That is not to say that I am handcuffed by the increase in depression. Light therapy along with improvements in recognition of the symptoms, regular visits with my therapist, and my psychiatrist helped me have a better SAD season.
If you want to know my tips on dealing with symptoms you can find the information in the following blog post: When You Know, Depression is on the Horizon
With that said, I am opening up the comments for those who want to talk all things SAD and what things help you during the worst months.
Always Keep Fighting (AKF)