Archive for the seasonal affect disorder Category

Why do I bother with optimism…

Posted in depression, seasonal affect disorder with tags , , , , on November 18, 2018 by morgueticiaatoms

So Spook and I went to town today, trading a chicken for a ham, basically. Meaning I gave my sister $35 ham for our family Thanksgiving (plus I am making $15 in chicken noodles) and she gave me cat litter and food for a week. It’s a foreign concept to people now, taking things out in trade like that,but from what I can gather, for hundreds of years, people have used the barter system to get what they need by giving what they have to spare. I’ve no problem with it. Maybe if it I were a monster I’d just put all the cats out in the cold and let them starve so I could save some dollars and stress but…my conscience would make that worse rather than better. I mean, I’m the sap who makes warm gravy to put on the cheapo cat food so they find it more appealing.

I got a text first thing from Sexting Pervert, whom I have not heard from in 2 months after he sent dick pics and I just put him on ignore. I was filled with disgust knowing I would need to go to the store where he was obviously working, since the text came in before 7 a.m. and anyone who knows fuck all about me knows…Saturday is my ONLY day to sleep after 7 a.m. But I went there and got to hear him brag again about his 2013 Mustang he went broke buying and he offered to take me for a ride any time…then I said, “Don’t send me naked pics,I don’t like that shit.” And he was like, “Well, can you send me some of you, that’s hot!” IN FRONT OF MY KID, he said this, thankully she lives only on her own planet and pays little mind to grown ups. (Seriously, if I ever get cut up after a klutzy lawn mower incident, Spook will let me bleed out before she thinks to check me for signs of life.) Anyway, she told me he obviously liked me so I asked, should I give him a chance and she said yes.

Silly old me skipped banter and innuendo and plainly texted back to him, “If you’re just looking to get laid, that is not me,I am gonna save us both some time by putting it out there.” He thanked me for my honesty and I’ve not heard a word since. I thought, ya know, since he’s been hitting on me for 2 years that it might be something more mature than a pervy hook up but at least I know now…I was right, he only wanted one thing and by telling him he wasn’t gonna get it from me…Problem solved. Worst of humanity confirmed. Kind of disappointed, I’d kind of hoped he truly found me intriguing but meh, whatever. I’m about to turn 46, all this high school hook up sexting bullshit simply isn’t for me. Sadly, others consider me prudish. Hmmph, those fucks have zero idea how much money I spent on garter belts, thigh highs, and crotchless panties in the 90’s with my first husband…I’m slutty as I wanna be if there’s trust and substance involved.

Spook and I had our movie night and watched ‘Stan Helsing’. It was hilarious, though much humor was lost on her as I’ve never let her watch movies like Jeepers Creepers. I mean, my mom let me watch rated R horror movies when I was 7 but I wasn’t prone to nightmares like Spook is. My sister let her watch the new movie “It” and she was having nightmares for 3 weeks after. I thought parodies of horror movies would be less tramatic for her, she’s watched “Vampires Suck” and “Shriek if you know what I did last Friday the 13th” numerous times…I think the “YMCA” tune with the words “it’s fun to kill S-T-A-N” is gonna stick to me for awhile. It was just fricking funny.

Today wasn’t great, but I wasn’t preoccupied with ‘this is futile’ thoughts so I will call it a win. I got dressed, we went to town, we bought supplies then we watched a movie together…During which she admitted, “I know I said I didn’t want the Magic Tracks thing for Christmas, cos I was afraid what people would say about me getting a ‘boy toy’ but I really do want one.” And I was like YOU GO GIRL! I’m not hung up on gender stereoptypes and have never intentionally pushed it on her. One year, I even bought her a tool kit cos she liked pretending to use a hammer and ‘fix’ things. (And I’ve been known to ask for staple guns, screwdriver sets, and other ‘boy toys’ for Xmas- this year I want a cheapo cordless drill, but oh, well, now I need windshield wipers, bloody hell.) I am definitely not happy fun ball mom cos of the depression but I am making the effort to try. TRY. I mean, with depression, happy fun ball is kind of reserved for when you’re manic cos the mood stabilizers aren’t working properly. Mostly I want to sleep and just not participate in what shit the country has become but in spite of my disabilities, my small income, my inability so focus…

I’ve not walked out on my kid. I may let her down because I can’t give her $30 for the school book fair so she has to endure her friends taunting her with how much they could buy…But shitty as things get for me, I’ve never abandoned her to spare myself. I’ve been here since before day one, when she was living rent free in my utuerus…I am not a perfect mom. But I am a GOOD mom. And I am a present mom, even if I can’t afford for her to participate in all the extra curriculars, She’s only 9 so ‘stuff’ and ‘popularity’ are what matter most to her but in the big picture…She’s fed, clothed, has heat, running water, pets, a tablet (even if it dies after 15 minutes), a TV and VCR, a portable dvd player, that fancy ass dollhouse grandma got her…It’s not like she’s truly deprived or neglected. But having been that age I do remember how important those small things like book orders and book fairs and after school activities mean. Good news is…it sucks, but it’s not fatal.

So, the blog have youtube channel now. Only 3 videos posted so far but please check them out. The one about X-mas, Spook said, “I feel like we’re manipulating people” and I asked her to tell me what manipulate means. She said, “Well, making them want to watch our video.” Hmm…Not sure posting a link and leaving everyone with free will to click and watch it or not but…there was no intent to manipulate or be phony. I kind of thought seeing how we interact together, unscripted, would be more honest than any blog post I can write. Seeing is believing, right?

So check out our channel, give horror movie parodies a chance, and don’t forget to worship at the altar of Spork tomorrow. Yes, that’s a thing in my world. Sue me.

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All I Want For Christmas Is Coherent Thought

Posted in depression, seasonal affect disorder with tags , , , , on November 14, 2018 by morgueticiaatoms

Now that the night’s 25 mg dose of Seroquel is exiting my system and my fog is clearing (it still didn’t keep me asleep, I woke four times, with an aching head, how do people live on this stuff?)…The cyclone of thoughts and emotions are starting to swirl up again. Frustration that I didn’t sleep through, aggravation of the side effects, irritatation that my sinus drainage has me feeling like I am drowning and plain old anger cos the premenstrual dysphoria has me in physical pain and mental turmoil…And then I turn on the TV and computer and it’s a mashup of tiny things to make you smile and a million huge things to make you cringe…And I don’t know what to make of any of it.

I literally cannot clear my brain enough to form basic coherent thoughts. I’ve got three stations trying to play on the same frequency, so while I dig the Motionless In White, it’s being ruined by a light rock Rick-Rolling and some ‘tear in my beer’ country tune…I can’t sort it all out and it’s maddening. I know I need to get my ass in gear and clean house, try to make some semblance of organization in prep for the holidays (my stepmonster gave us an artificial tree so at least we have that much), I NEED TO GET MY SHIT TOGETHER.And I don’t know how cos nothing makes sense. I can’t decide to rock out, eyeroll or claw out my eardrums cos it’s all a clusterfuck of things that are awesome, okay, or downright awful. I tried over and over to explain this to the doctors but the only ones who will listen can’t help because my insurance won’t cover the Focalin that is the only thing that helps.

Political discord. Fires burning out of control. Everyone in dire financial straits. My own family looking down on me for having a fundraiser since we lost child support income yet they can’t or won’t help so wtf…I’m not even qualified to ring a damn bell for charity (or more likely, the area just has too many people needing work and too few jobs, so of course, the less stable less appealing aren’t shoe ins.) We’re still in autumn and already at 17 degrees with 5 snowfalls so between the weather’s impact on my sinus allergies and my mental state, I feel like I am coming undone. Meanwhile, TV is ramming Crhistmas down my throat with the clear message that how much you spend equals how much you care and I know it’s utter shit and I’ve never bought into it before, but I was never in this position before. I didn’t keep us living in the traler park for fun, it was what I could swing, without child support, and living within my means has always been a big deal for me. The move was forced and now the expenses necessitate that child support but her father gives zero fucks, the state’s impotent, the court is useless to do anything…And no one understands why the depression is crippling me, the anxiety is crushing me, and the guilt for asking for ‘handouts’ is choking me to death…

I am a ray of fucking sunshine. I’m the negative person you need to avoid to feel better. I know this. I don’t like this, at all.I thought I was onto something with that idea of buying stuff from auction and yard sales and having an on line resale business, but I can’t make ends meet on basics, let alone ‘spending money to make money’. So even the positive plan I was trying to set into motion is a fail…The miracle here is how I haven’t run away from home and had myself locked up in a psych ward while there’s still something left of me the world hasn’t chewed up and spit out.

Oh and fuck anyone who thinks that is self pity. Depression is a frustrating disorder that absorbs your life and identity and well basically, it’s like I was forced to drink poison, now I am just wasting away, hoping for death while those around me ask what on Earth could be wrong…

I just want some clarity for Christmas. To tune into one station in my brain and have that genre play until I choose to change it. To walk into a cluttered room and have the coherence to tackle tasks one at a time instead of being so overwhelmed I flee back to my bedroom, terrified that I will never get my shit together enough to dig myself out of this hole.

This is depression,ugly, honest, negative, poisonous, maddening. This is my life.

But there’s still a corner of me human enough to mourn the death of Stan Lee, and to smile at a picture of him looking grumpy with Grumpy Cat. Rest in Peace, Stan, thanks for sharing your talent with us all.

992 Followers, 5 Likes, and No Patridges In A Pear Tree

Posted in depression, Mental Health Disability, seasonal affect disorder with tags , , , , , , on October 23, 2018 by morgueticiaatoms

I normally try not to focus on the cobwebs gathering on this blog because, hey, that’s my decor style anyway and I have a strong dislike for all things popular but…

GET WOKE TO MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES,PEOPLE.

I am in for the fight of my life with the onslaught of current seasonal affective disorder.It’s a battle to get through each hour, let alone each day. I’m still sleeping in spurts. My kid is still channeling Satan. We still have kittens who are dying because even formula and me being up every 2 hours with them isn’t saving them. I’m ready for bed at 6:30 p.m. when the sun goes down, I am sweating but cold and still having monthly cycles and dysphoria so not sure if that is menstrual-pause or what. Everyone keeps asking “Why don’t you just get a job to make up for the child support (not being paid)?”

IF I WERE STABLE ENOUGH TO WORK THE DOCTOR WOULD SIGN OFF ON IT AGAINST MY WILL AND I’D BE CUT OFF AND PUT TO WORK! Or as is common theme even for the able minded here, the search for work cos everything is dying off again. (THey just closed my fave pizza place, Marco’s, which I kept telling everyone was gonna happen but nooo, no one will listen to me, I am just paranoid and pessimistic except, hey twonks, during a brief stable period before my brain damage, I worked as an assistant manager and I can tell when too little business means buh-bye!!!!)

Never ceases to amaze me the disparity between how society holds a father responsible for his children and what is expected of the mothers. (Reverse, as well, lots of good single dads out there.) They get to be flakes and keep their homes and cars and have date nights with their s/o and give zero thought to if their child has what they need for a day, let alone the whole time they’re not paying a cent. The law is supposed to be there for the children, but truth be told…it’s there for deadbeat parents.

There was a time the donor heard I was calling him a deadbeat and he railed against the term but even if I shut out the child he and I have together….He failed to pay for a daughter up North and a son out west, so it ceases to be an issue with me or my child. It’s about him being a selfish ogre. Okay, not ogre, that sounds insulting to Shrek and that dude is cool. Pattern of behavior. And considering that his child support amount, by state law, maxes out at 20% of his after tax income…This is a pattern of monstrous behavior on his part, not greed on baby mama parts.

Somewhere this post went haywire but my brain is too chaotic to figure it out. The empty place across the road is being wired for Dish or something and the van in the drive is blasting radio gunk so loud I feel like I should endorse WKRP in Armpit-inciatti. I was so determined to be dignified and coherent on this post but… bucket of fail.

I guess I’m just feeling a lil whiny cos even though I have my big girl panties on and I am trying-to my own detriment-to be mom and dad to a 9 year old- it’s overwhelming. And she makes sure I never get underwhelmed with all her demands and blaming everyone but herself for her tantrums. Suppose it’s karma cos before I knew I was bipolar, I blamed my mood swings on other people upsetting me. But it’s no excuse. You gotta own how you are feeling, even when others are complicit in making you feel that way. SO I OWN MY OWN WEAKNESS OF CHARACTER AND BULLSHIT AND WHININESS.

It does not, however, diminish my devotion to my daughter. Maybe who reads this blog doesn’t like the writer, but maybe,too, they have a heart for little kids who didn’t ask for a disabled parent and a shitty one. Not saying it’s anyone else’s responsibility but I am saying..we all come to a juncture where we can be greedy or we can pay it forward in some way…which is why I’ve been babysitting the neighbor kid even though they don’t even offer me a dollar. Because I want to be good, to do good, and I want it to come back on Spook and me in a good way.

We’re the least abled to be doing things for free or giving away for free but…I feel good doing it and if it means Spook and I have a bit of luck and good will come our way…Yayness. But I really do like just being nice. It’s only when people take advantage that I get venomous.

Now I have to steel myself for a shrink appt tomorrow plus a parent teacher conference and the riddle of how to get money to buy cat litter and food til next Friday. All the while this cockweasel van person is across the street blaring their radio and hammering on shit to distract me.

This is one of those days where I feel like maybe,just maybe, shock treatment might help me.

But then I think of our fearless leader Blahpolar who subjected herself to it and she still lost her battle to bipolar depression. They claim by her own hand but I will always blame the mental disorder. Ulla was a beautiful person who should have lived another 40 years to share her positive (without being nauseating) thoughts with so many of us running this gauntlet.

992 ALLEGED FOLLOWERS for this blog and barely 3 likes a day. Is it neediness? Is it a popularity contest? Or am I just disappointed that the world has devolved into a place where a pancake vaguely resembling Mother Theresa can get 700.000 likes?

No patridge in a pear tree here. Just pegacorns.Lots and lots of pegacorns.

Moving At The Speed Of Corpse

Posted in depression, seasonal affect disorder with tags , , , , , , on October 15, 2018 by morgueticiaatoms

I normally say I am moving at the speed of snail but snails actually do eventually get from point a to point b. Today, though…I am a non moving corpse. I can’t get warm, I can’t get motivated. Another rough night of sleep and wake frustrates me to no end. My ‘magic bullet’ sleep cocktail worked 3 nights and now..Back to wake and sleep and wake and sleep.

How long can one with mental issues maintain the pace of never being fully rested? Because I’m going on about 9 years now and it’s maddening. I am so tired of waking at 2 a.m., 4 a.m. and other odd hours for no apparent reason. Though when my kid woke me this morning and it was only only 6 a.m., I was filled with both relief cos I’d been stuck in a nightmare and dread because, ugh, another day to endure and try to gather my bouncey ball thoughts into some semblance of functionality.

Corpse speed lead me to believe as soon as she safely on the bus I could return to the warmth of Fort Blankie and just go back to sleep cos I could use a little more rest. But thus far, my body is aching and my brain is spinning and there’s no comfort or peace.

The high functioning days, while bolstering my self esteem, exhaust me and it takes awhile to recover. So while others strive for that happy high functioning space, I prefer to aim for mediocrity. Shambling about, accomplishing a small goal or two, getting the bare minimum done, and not overtaxing my mind. Because my body can mow the entire lawn, move heavy furniture, pack in ten bags from the car without dropping anything, and it isn’t my muscles or back that end up hurting.

It’s my mind. It just takes too much out of me. I need my happy medium but since the weather has changed and seasonal affective disorder is kicking in…I don’t expect to see much happy medium or even functional mediocrity. If I can put on warm clean clothes and cook myself a meal for the first time in days, I’ll call today a win. Because some days with depression that’s all you get and the naysayers have no clue how much even that minor functionality counts.

The Morgueticia Project

Posted in depression, seasonal affect disorder with tags , , , , , , , on September 25, 2018 by morgueticiaatoms

So in a bizarre twist for me since I’m not big on sitcoms, I recently started watching “The Mindy Project”. Thus…this post’s title. It means I am a work in progress but I am trying to become better, I suppose. As for the mild shame I feel watching a cutesy popular bubblegum show…It’s like soda. Zero nutritional value, lots of pointless calories, and definitely too much can give you a bloated aching tummy and make your tastebuds reject vapidity and sugar…But I LIKE IT. I don’t always like Mindy, she’s way too self absorbed and confident and annoying for my tastes yet I can’t deny the flawed character is still charming and the ensemble support cast makes it worth my while. Though like soda at some point enough is enough, I gotta walk away from bingeing and do some drama or something. But I’ll always return to soda pop even if it feels shameful. (WHY OH WHY CAN’T ANYONE LOVE ME AND ALL MY FLAWS AND IRRITATING QUIRKS THE WAY EVERYONE SEEMS TO LOVE HER???ooops, meant to just think that, not write it…Bygones.)

In a biarre space because I ran out of my normal non drowsy allergy pills so I had to get some off stepmonster and Benadryl just makes me feel uber spaced out and wonky. But I am breaking out in hives due to stress as well as flea bites and such and I was in dire straits to turn to family for a favor. A few days from now I am sure I will hear through the backstabbing family grapevine that dad and stepmonster are irked at me asking for allergy pills and I should manage money better and get a job and…ugh, family, so much bloody drama and none of it the good kind. And we’re not even funny like the families on Roseanne or The Middle or Young Sheldon. Just…ugh. I am trying to roll with it but I am the only person who ever changes and sometimes it honestly feels not like I am better than them but that I have simply…outgrown them. I don’t want to trash each other and have it be a big gossip mill but it’s…never…gonna…change. And all I can do is practice polite avoidance lest I be sucked into it all so everyone assumes I am stuck up and look down on them but I have just been through way too much therapy, way too much agonizing self awareness, to remain in the stagnated family cycle of nastiness. Anyway…I will be glad to get some loratadine cos this Benadryl haze makes me feel drunk and high but doesn’t put me to sleep and barely helps with itchiness so…

The season changed. Our temps dropped from mid nineties down to lower 50’s. For seasonal affective disorder these extremes are pretty tough. I was so bored when I visited California because it was always the same, sunny and warm, day after day, and it rained twice in 6 weeks and I just thought, ugh, I miss the change of seasons…Yet I know how negative the extreme weather changes are for my mental health so were an opportunity to relocated to more stable weather to arise…I’d be vapor. I have become that convinced that the weather and seasons are part of why I struggle with my disorders and med resistance.

Had a couple of days I didn’t feel too bad, after a week of ‘marathon’ days. That was when it was so hot out and was still 90 in the house in spite of open windows and fans and all I enjoyed was going to sleep and ‘riding it out’. And that’s how life feels to me as of late. A marathon. If I can just survive the next two days, if I can make it the next week, or if I can just fake my way through the next few hours til bedtime…It’s exhausting to view things that way but I don’t know how to shut it off. I’m just thankful I got the two semi decent mental days, I was able to get my lawn mowed before entering into Benadryl loopyville.

I have a doctor appt Wednesday, I guess that could explain why my moderate anxiety has morphed into breaking out into hives level. It’s pretty disgusting to realize I am, at 45, still the same nervous Nellie I was at 13 about doctor appointments. Oh, well, I go in and tell her the truth. I quit the lithium because that abnormal liver function test terrified me and I’ve been asking to get off of it 2 years and no one will listen to me so..executive decision. I still have Lamictal and I’m not manic or hypo and physically, I feel like I lost 20 pounds. Just more energy, less lethargy, the ability to feel things has returned…Not seeing a downside here but if it came to that, I’d go back on the garbage. And i hate calling it garbage cos lithium works soooo well for bipolar. But the fact my mental state has improved since stopping it indicates they might have been overmedicating me on that front yet undermedicating on other fronts.

My sleep is fucked up as ever. We ran out of melatonin. Restoril does zilch for me, benadryl doesn’t make me sleepy, and I quit drinking for the most part so it’s just toss and turn and get up and down and wake over and over every night. Sat/Sun I woke at 2 a.m. and was so itchy I couldn’t get back to sleep. Wasn’t til after I crawled to stepmonster for Benadryl and Spook stayed at their place that I came home and could finally fall back to sleep. Only to be wakened when she returned and I gotta say, I felt worse than if I’d just stayed up the whole time. And all I could look forward to was sleep because man, if you run on empty all the damned time…it kicks your ass.

So even though it’s not yet 8:30 p.m. I am gonna kill the light, watch some Frasier, and wait to get sleepy. Maybe I’ll nod off by midnight and get a couple of solid hours before I wake again. I hope. Plus side, with the season change and getting dark earlier soon it will get cold and my body will convince me bedtime is at 7 p.m. simply so I can get under the warm blankies and perhaps even my brain will be fooled into thinking it’s sleepy time.

Though I am starting to think I have a better chance at a real live pet pegacorn than getting 7 solid hours of sleep.

Seasoned- How Season Changes Impact Bipolar Depression

Posted in bipolar disorder, depression, seasonal affect disorder with tags , , , , , on September 19, 2018 by morgueticiaatoms

It’s difficult to describe but it’s almost like a thrumming beneath my skin, deep within my brain. My energy level is changing. My thoughts are morphing rapidly from positive to negative to calm to hyper. I don’t know if I am happy or sad or pissed off or hopeless or if I want to live or if I want to cease to exist. I am…up in the air, mentally speaking.

It’s quite a drastic change in mental state since I’ve been living in a functional depression all summer with very little inspiration or hope or desire or enjoyment. Now I feel like I am being infused with all those things, but my brain is too crowded so I need to organize it all into neat little piles…except my organization skills are hindered by a racing mind that doesn’t know how to organize. It’s a little manic.

Now a diagnosis of S.A.D on its own is difficult, but when combined with bipolar depression…My mind and body seem to be slam dancing in some sort of deathmatch over whether I am going to feel good, bad, apathetic. Normally as summer fades to fall, I start edging toward the cliff and go over, down into a black rabbit hole of crippling depression. It’s an awful place to be but it does have one plus side: the anxiety lessens during winter because I am not as besieged with overstimulation. This year, however, the S.A.D cycle seems to have morphed into something different. Near mania without hyperactivity but lots of trouble getting to sleep due to racing thoughts but no ability to organize and follow through.

And the only explanation I can come up with is…seasonal affective disorder.

Fall starts Saturday and it’s like my mind and body sense the change thus the slamdance-a-palooza.

I am edgy, antsy, grateful that it’s getting dark earlier, looking forward to a break from the scorching 95 degree days even if it means back to the other extreme where I need six layers of clothing just to get out of bed comfortably. Now I am sure some would argue that this is psycho somatic. I see the calendar, the date of the equinox, and it’s having some sort of placebo effect on my mental state. That and I do wear all black and dig Halloween so obviously I am a witch and we witchy types love tying our witchcrafty stuff in with seasons…

Seasons impact mood disorders. Period. They may not do much research into it, preferring instead to shove the artificial sunlight lamps down our throats as some sort of solution for depression, while jamming mood stabilizers at us to ward off manic episodes. It’s no big deal to them but for me…My life seems more controlled by the changes of season and weather than by any medication or my own stubborn will.

I’m not so far gone to realize this post likely only makes sense in my own head. But then again, I also can’t rule out that the correleation between season changes and a seasonal affective disorder is very real and very seriously debilitating.

For now…I teeter on the edge of…something. Maybe a ledge, maybe a bridge, a cliff…one strong autumn wind could knock me off balance and cause me to fall…into nothingness, into the rabbit hole of depression, into a manic infused state that crashes and burns…I don’t know what’s coming but I feel it bubbling beneath the surface and it’s nothing good.

Which should get me more likes because I had a positive post yesterday that had nothing to do with mental illness, just being an American in today’s political climate, and I got more likes about some drivel I wrote about certain therapies being like the Kardashians. Logic, clarity, pride, feelings of self worth-pfft, who gives a fuck.

Misery, self loathing, and some click bait-y names….That’s where the popular kids hang out.

I hate the popular kids.

But still…A mormom mom and Willie Nelson as wake up calls that made me feel good about myself and my country…that was a pretty damn good day for me even if the popular kids only want to hear about how much everything is awful with some click bait-y names and cussing thrown in. (Think I lost a couple of followers for my off topic rant, buh-bye.)

The Outsiders has always been my favorite book for a reason.

I like being a misfit.

And I’d never trade my black leather jacket for a better social standing, anyway. I have oily skin so I guess I’m a born ‘greaser’.

P.S.
Yes, I sound manic and loopy.

P.S.S.
I’m going to enjoy being manic and loopy a couple of days before I panic that my mood stabilizers have failed. I served enough time in depressive lock down, I am due a few days of parole. If I start wearing bright colors, listening to Taylor Swift, and paying more than $1 for an energy drink- I will know I’ve gone full manic and need brought crashing back down to Earth.

Arghh, my brain is bouncing around in my skull, my skeleton wants to crawl out from under my skin…Awkward but still better than the pit of despair. I was starting to use a mirror to make sure I was still breathing because I felt so damned dead in every way. Feeling alive is different but…I’ll take it. For now.

The Conundrum of Seasonal Affective Disorder

Posted in depression, seasonal affect disorder with tags , , , , , on June 2, 2018 by morgueticiaatoms

I must admit, I get a little pissy when I explain to people that I have extreme Seasonal Affective Disorder (aka SAD, S.A.D) and they attempt to commiserate by saying, “Yeah, I get a little of the winter blues, too.” I really can’t fault them for their ignorance of comparing ‘the blues’ to a crippling months long depression that impacts every aspect of your functionality. Let’s face it. The world at large is very ignorant of mental health issues, period. While we have certainly come along way over the last 40 years or so about knowledge, stigma, and acceptance…It’s just one of those things that most people see as ‘if it doesn’t apply to me, I don’t need to know about it.”

Except if you have someone in your life, be it family, spouse, significant other, a friend, who has been diagnosed with extreme S.A.D, it would be very supportive for those around us to learn about the disorder so they can better understand why we have mood swings or sink into despair. It’s not merely winter blues. It’s like a shutdown of function and it is debillitating to live life that way 6-8 months of the year, depending on your geographic location and weather extremes. I give points to those who try to commiserate by admitting their winter blues, mind you. It’s just not a fair comparison.

I live in Bumfuck, Midwest, population 590, and the weather here gets pretty extreme without much consistence. For example, yesterday it was 92 and scorching. Today it’s 66 and the sun is peeking out after an hour long rain. While rain and lower temperature is certainly more comfortable for me, the sudden shift also leaves me reeling a bit. Fall and winter are the same way. One day in the 60’s, then it can drop to negative 3 the next day or rain for 3 straight weeks. It’s difficult to regain equibrium and even footing. I’ve been asked a zillion times, why not just move to a better climate? And I always point out the dollar signs factor. Just moving 7 miles out of town has nearly broken me. Can’t imagine what moving halfway across the country to warmer climate would cost.

The conundrum here, however, is that my other disorders are both helped and worsened by weather changes. I changed to a different med, got off the secondary antidepressant, and the winter turning to spring has helped immensely, even if it took the midwest til May for spring to actually appear. What happens to me during spring and summer is the polar opposite of fall and winter 90% of the time. I go hypomanic some days. I have more energy, more zest for life, more desire to keep fighting all the crap flung my way. But ALSO, since activity outside rises during warmer months, my anxiety metastasizes with all the noise triggers. People are out and about. There are lawnmowers and chainsaws and cars and kids on bikes shrieking and of course, my kid being her social butterfly self, always bored, always wanting a friend to play then she spends the entire time MOM MOM MOMming me to death because the friend makes her annoyed or angered. That’s the flip side to the depression lifting. I feel like I am on the verge of a nervous breakdown every single day because my sensory overload is tipping the scales that way.

In contrast, my anxiety goes way down during the winter (except during family helli-day get togethers) while depression seeps into me, slowly at first, and then BAM. Ninja depression has completely seized me and I can’t enjoy the calm because I’m too far down that black depressive rabbit hole.

It really sucks to endure life this way and hey, if someone wants to adopt us so we can relocate to warmer pastures with more steady climate…here we are, lol.

I think the biggest misconception about S.A.D though, is that it’s the same as ‘winter blues’. Those I know with winter blues don’t go days without bathing, or want to go to sleep at 6:30 p.m. or spend four months in layers of clothing under Fort Blankie because they can never get warm. SAD is a whole different beast. I’ve tried everything for it- aromatherpy, light therapy, color therapy, talk therapy, I even had my bloody chakras aligned during some new age phase in the 90’s. The doctors and therapists are so hung up on these ‘sun’ lamps that mimic natural sunlight and this is suppose to be some major boost or cure but for me…it does nothing. Except the same as extreme exposure to sunlight-give me massive headaches because of light sensitivity. I know light is healthier for easing depressive symptoms but it’s no cure and it definitely has a down side for me.

I resent how casually the professionals approach seasonal affective disorder. For them, I guess it is just winter blues. For me, around October, it means I start sinking in mental quicksand and know I won’t come out the other side til April. To say it hinders my life is understatement of the bloody year. It impacts my hygiene, my ability to go out on errands or keep up housework (already a Goliath sized chore for me), even the quality of parenting my kid because I retreat so far into darkness-not by choice- that she says she misses ‘fun mommy’. And I can’t say I blame her cos frankly, I miss fun me, too. But alas, the doctors just harp on that damn sun lamp and I flail for months and months, hoping my meds at least keep me propped up or I can try something different that might help. And this time, by stopping Wellbutrin and doing singular anti depressant therapy with Cymbalta, I am coming out on the other side.

Where my overly stimulated senses point me to a nervous breakdown.

Man, if I could just have two things on Earth, it’d be the higher mood of spring and summer and the lower anxiety during fall and winter YEAR ROUND. I want off this crumbling mountain, on solid ground.

But, then again, that’s pretty much the hope of any of us with mental imbalances so I am in good company.