Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Journal # 37- S.A.D.

So I finally figured out what was wrong with me, in retrospect I should've realized sooner but it's been a few years since I've been hit this hard with it. Seasonal Depression, or Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.). What exactly is it?
From the Mayo Clinic website-
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you're like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer.

Fall and winter SAD
Symptoms specific to winter-onset SAD, sometimes called winter depression, may include:

  • Irritability
  • Tiredness or low energy
  • Problems getting along with other people
  • Hypersensitivity to rejection
  • Heavy, "leaden" feeling in the arms or legs
  • Oversleeping
  • Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
  • Weight gain

Causes
The specific cause of seasonal affective disorder remains unknown. Some factors that may come into play include:

  • Your biological clock (circadian rhythm). The reduced level of sunlight in fall and winter may cause winter-onset SAD. This decrease in sunlight may disrupt your body's internal clock and lead to feelings of depression.
  • Serotonin levels. A drop in serotonin, a brain chemical (neurotransmitter) that affects mood, might play a role in SAD. Reduced sunlight can cause a drop in serotonin that may trigger depression.
  • Melatonin levels. The change in season can disrupt the balance of the body's level of melatonin, which plays a role in sleep patterns and mood.

I've suffered with this for years and was diagnosed with depression when J was little. The doctor put me on meds that messed with me pretty good so I stopped taking them and decided to try a more holistic approach. This has worked, yoga paired with some herbal supplements and getting a dose of sunlight did the trick. During the summer to save money I stopped taking the supplements, now I can't seem to find the exact combination that helped. Also doesn't help that I work in a basement and live in a basement, light doesn't exactly penetrate cement. Not to mention the weather hasn't really been good enough to go outside at least not without freezing your butt off. So the sunlight has been an issue.
I'm trying to keep with the exercising but it's not easy when you feel like crap all the time. I got some different supplements that should help, fingers crossed. One thing that has kept me motivated is my Zombies, Run app, I really look forward to doing a new mission, to bad I can't get the pro version right now.

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