7 thoughts on “Seasonal-Affective Disorder: Depression on a Six-Month Binge

  • January 30, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    It is sunny here today in Southern Ontario – it won’t be later this week, unless you want to travel 3 hrs north of where I live and deal with the biting cold instead. Actually, other than the drive I would prefer the biting cold to the overcast, oppressive gloom of a warmer temp in the “south” of the province. The days when it is sunny out I just sit in the sun. I find the sunniest window I can find and like a cat,I just bathe myself in the rays of light coming through the window and I don’t care how hot I get sitting there. I close my eyes and visualise a summer setting – maybe I’m sitting on the deck of the boat house at my sister-in-law’s cottage or I’m in my backyard or on a warm beach.

    Yes, gloomy weather is difficult to deal with and I wish I was one of the people who are unaffected by it – but, I’m not.

    Bring on the sun -please!

  • January 30, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Agreed quadrupled! I lived in Kalamazoo until I was 30 and how well I recall S-a-d, especially in march. I especially like the line …”opaque, flat, industrial gray.”. I’ve often said that it’s difficult to stay depressed when the sun is shining and the skies are a delicious blue! Thx for your column.

  • January 30, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    My primary diagnoses is Schizoaffective Disorder, Bipolar Type (a disorder that combines major depression, mania, mixed episodes and Schizophrenia-like psychosis) and it is highly impacted by the seasons. I live in New York.

    In winter, depression, mixed states and psychosis are most common. In summer, translation anxiety, mania and psychosis prevail. Spring and Fall are a mix between the two; the specifics depend on which part of the season we are in.

    My Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder intensity with the seasons, as well.

    ( I also suffer from Complex-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Dissociative Identity Disorder, Derealazation and Depersonalization Disorder due to seven years of sexual abuse. The abuse was more intense in the winter. So it is also a trigger. )

    So, while I do not have SAD per-se, my illness is most severe on the seasonal extremes. Though generally stable now, my paranoia has been creeping up on me; mild hallucinations have occurred (shadows, animals, ghosts, mumbling, inaudible noises); my mood has dipped deep into the sea; I have had panic attacks; my obsessions and compulsions have become more intense; and I have just generally not been well.

    ( In the trauma department, I have been having severe flashbacks; my hypervigilance has been up; and I’ve been triggered at every corner. )

    Thank you for the shout out to those of us in colder climate.

  • January 31, 2011 at 7:53 am

    Sheila: Awesome suggestion! I think my dog might like it, too – even in Florida.

  • July 27, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    I believe this is why I garden if the spring and summer> i revel in the sunshine. I was born and raised in Chicago, lived in (Kenosha)Wisconsin for 10 years,in Sacramento (CA)for a year,now live in Winston-Salem (NC). I have 1 good move left in me and I am trying to get to Las Cruces (NM) for my final stand against whatever. Since I am not going back to CA,I now realize that I need lots of sunshine, low humidity, and mild winters where I can garden year-round. This will better enable me to manage my SAD. I am not managing it well here in NC. The summers are toooooo humid and the winters are brief but toooo brittle!

  • July 27, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    P.S. I have heard that Florida is wonderful, but how do you stand the humidity and the small dive bombers better known as mosquitos? Also your garden flowers are beautiful!

  • November 28, 2011 at 10:29 am

    I live in the UK and we have the most miserable winters! Our summers are amazing but it’s really no wonder we have so many people with Seasonal Affective Disorder here!

    I’ve been trying out different SAD lamps with varying results. I’ve started to exercise a lot more which is helping quite a bit and I’m spending as much time outside as possible. I’m in the IT industry so this isn’t always an option though.


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