This was one of those weeks when I was absolutely “stuck”. After going through my many topics several times, nothing moved me. I reached out to one of my friends and this was the suggested topic.
Many people are “plagued” by depression with the change of the seasons (winter, spring, summer, fall), and no it’s not all in their heads. Studies have proven, otherwise. Below, I have listed some of the things one might experience during this time.
Some people suffer from what is known as “Seasonal Affective Disorder” which is depression that ranges from mild to debilitating and can last for months. The good news is that it can be treated with medication, outdoor activities and/or light therapy.
Some people have “Reactions to Daylight Savings Time”. When we “fall back”, even though we get an extra hours worth of sleep, the day is darker longer which can affect both “physical and mental health”. Since more of the day is spent in darkness, some people miss out on their essential vitamin D intake, which can also lead to depression. People feel more out of it in the winter months because they don’t want to go out into the cold, so they sit home, perhaps, watching more TV, not exercising, and eating more — all of this affects your well-being. Some people are also bothered when we “spring forward” because it’s darker in the morning, so they don’t want to get up at their normal time to get moving. They lie in bed until the last possible minute and, even then, drag themselves around all day. This can go on for several days or more as they make the adjustment.
I know someone who used to “cycle” every year a few days before Thanksgiving, and would be admitted into one of their local area hospitals for mental health. They couldn’t keep it together no matter what they tried. Once admitted, their psychiatrist (please don’t be afraid of this word) adjusted the medications they were taking to cover this time period, and tweaked it as necessary during their admission. Once released, they were fine because the period of “cycling” was over.
If you are struggling when the seasons change, don’t suffer in silence. People will notice a change in your mood, and may walk away thinking they’ve done something to offend you. Those that love you want to get in the “fight” with you so that you can overcome. Let them “carry” you through by listening, checking in on you, getting you up and about, praying for you — whatever it is that you need during your time your depression. Don’t be embarrassed because they want to be a part of your support system. Always remember that people can’t help you if they don’t know.
I know what it’s like to be depressed. I lived through that every single day of my life for years — alone. My depression wasn’t just seasonal; I couldn’t escape it. I woke up with it, but was able to maneuver through my day because I pretended that life was great. However, as soon as I left work, I picked it up on the way out the door. I didn’t want anyone to know just how “bummed” out I was about life in general, and how much I absolutely “despised” myself, so I didn’t share it with anyone. People just didn’t talk about that. Although looking back in retrospect, I wished I had the courage to tell my closest friends and family members, so that they could have “rallied” around me, “encouraged” me, and “supported” me. Instead, I lived in a “dark hole” that I couldn’t see my way out of — alone.
“Seasonal Affective Disorder” and “Reactions to Daylight Savings Time” (depression) doesn’t just affect women, but men as well. So, to all of my male followers, it’s okay. Don’t be afraid to talk to your partners and/or your family members. They won’t love you any less nor will they view you any differently. In fact, you’ll find it to be the complete opposite. These are the people who will have your back, and “support” you to the hilt. Some of you guys may have been “taught” that “real” men don’t “share” these sorts of things (because it’s not manly) nor do men have these types of “struggles”. That is a bunch of crock and totally false. Because of this foolishness, we have men who can never be “healed” or “delivered”. Fellas, you are human and will go through many things in life just as we women folk do. Don’t let anyone “force” you to stay in the “dark” because of what they believe. Get the help you need, so that you can “live” and “lead” a successful life.
Life can be a struggle as we are thrown unexpected curve balls. Whatever you do, don’t let your challenges overtake you; never, ever succumb to them. Walk in victory and not defeat!