Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tears of Winter Days and Winter Nights

If you click on the title of this post, you will be taken to a story by a woman named Pythia Peay who wrote an article on the HuffPost that was somewhat about winter depression. It just really got me thinking...my psychiatrist warned me about this...my fiance warned me about this...maybe it's true!

I've definitely been feeling more down than usual since the snow has begun to fall heavy on the poor sprigs of grass in my tudor's backyard. I don't want to go outside. I don't want to go to work. I don't want do much of anything except sit on the couch and drink hot coffee. Winter sucks! I should be the happiest person on earth right now. I just graduated with my first B.A. on 12/13, got engaged back in October and I just got my first full-time reporter job. I should be on top of the world. But every morning when I look out the window to see that another two or three inches of fresh snow has fallen on the four or six inches of slushy crappy snow that my idiot snowplower left behind, it makes me ask myself some questions. Who wants to go out and feel brisk winds against our faces? Who wants to get salt stains on the bottoms of our favorite jeans? Why would you want to subject yourself to the turmoils of winter time when you don't have to?

Because you do have to. We have to go to work to make money in this god-awful economy, and we should go outside to WANT to get the exercise and we should WANT to get some fresh air. But who wants fresh air when you can sit in the warmth of your home with a hot cup of tea? See...that winter blues has already kicked my butt and put me back under the covers! (I got back out and went to work though)

It's called Seasonal Affective Disorder:

"Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression or winter blues, is a mood disorder in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms in the winter or, less frequently, in the summer,[1] spring or autumn, repeatedly, year after year. In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), SAD is not a unique mood disorder, but is "a specifier of major depression"." - Wiki

Don't let the definition scare you. You should be able to tell on your own or with some help if you may have a case of major depression that may need medical attention. In other cases, it could just be because it's not so lovely outside as it was a few months ago. And you may not get all the symptoms either. Some people have been shown to overeat, oversleep (which is never bad in my book as long as you are on time for whatever), or crave junk food. If you knew me, I'm not an over-eater, I'm an under-eater. But I have been wanting more sleep and I have been craving more junk than real meals.

If you really want to, you can get help for seasonal affective disorder. If you live in a place like Cleveland (where I'm at), you may want some. You can get some light therapy if you want, which could help you with other problems that you may not have known were affecting you. You can also try getting some over-the-counter Melatonin from Walgreens or CVS or whatever drugstore you frequent to help with your sleeping cycle. Of course, if you feel like it's just winter blues then just let the winter time run out and go on about your days. Maybe you will be inspired by your sadness like Peay was.

I recognized it affecting me with the help of my fiance, but I know it'll be okay once the sun comes out again.

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