Living with Seasonal Affective Disorder

man standing on road between bare trees

Content warning: poor mental health.

During the winter (which seems to be an ever-growing season in the UK) I am a husk of myself, a sad, low energy person who wants to crawl into a hole and sleep for a long time.

I hate the darkness, the cold, the drab lifeless streets, the wind and the rain. The long nights and short days. They ruin my existence for too much of the year.

During the winter the pain in my knees flare up, my headaches and migraines return and I find it even more difficult to look after myself. My memory and executive function feel like they’ve been set alight. I can barely look after myself, my son and our house, let alone do anything else.

The winter is a very overwhelming time for me, I become very irritable and find little joy in anything I do. My medication helps somewhat, and a daylight alarm clock helps (although Little Man has other ideas about how we should all get up in the morning!).

Although it is a long way off, I think about how me and Little Man (another outdoors person) will get on this winter. He has more energy now and wants to be outside all the time, and I have no doubt he’ll still want that at a time when I need to hibernate. As with most things about being a parent, I shall push through for him, but due to the poor weather and a car that suffers in the winter, we may not get out as much as would benefit us.

Some advice, such as taking vitamin D (one of the vitamins we miss due to the lack of sunlight) and spending time every day in front of a daylight lamp work for some individuals. For people like me, they barely scratch the surface of the depression I feel without sunlight. 

Although SAD is awful, every year when Spring comes I feel renewed, I finally feel myself again, I have energy and new found interest in things which seem long forgotten, my working memory comes back and my mood is so much better. Long live the spring and summer months, these are my months to shine and I intend to make the most of them!

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