Monday, November 19, 2007

SAD and other Screwed Up Brain Things

At this time of year, many people experience SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder. The change in light causes certain folks to become depressed and lethargic, sometimes even suicidal. There are therapeutic lamps and "Sun Boxes" that can be helpful. These can be found by doing an online search. I can't recommend any particular one as I really haven't tried them myself.
I actually experience something of a "reverse SAD," where my seasonal depression comes in the spring rather than the winter. This is more common than people think. Several studies have shown that April is actually the month that holds the dubious distinction of being the time when the greatest number of people commit suicide, and I must say, if I were going to do it, April would be the time because that's when I feel my absolute worst. My seasonal depresion starts in March and I don't come out of it till May.
In the winter there's sometimes a cruddy lethargy, but usually not an out and out depression. I just feel generally like crap most of the time, so it's hard to tell the difference. I'm feeling ok right now. But if I don't quit gaining weight I'm going to be the size of a house. Between the low thyroid levels, taking Lithium, working nights, being an olde phart over 40, stressed out as hell and then there's that pesky wanting to actually eat solid food sometimes rather than meal replacement shakes always--I guess I'm doomed to be large. If I could at least be large and in charge I'd feel better about it!
Taking vitamin D has been helpful for me because working nights I don't get much sun. I still experience depression, which is worst around that certain unlovely time of the month, but the suicidal thoughts have been greatly reduced. Not that I don't have them any more, but I seem to have mellowed them out quite a bit. Maybe vitamin D is like pot for suicidal thoughts. They're still there but they're too busy vegging out to be as much of a bother to me. Whatever works, I say!
Perhaps folks with SAD would benefit from a bit of extra vitamin D. It's very safe and very inexpensive. The recommended dosage is 2000 units per day. Give it a try. It can't hurt and it might just help.
And it may sound trite, but try to remember--it's just your brain chemistry fucking with you. You don't really want to off yourself.
Best wishes and hope for happiness,