Monday, January 04, 2010

SAD Tendencies

Have you ever noticed a drastic change in your mood either due to your environment or the lack of daylight that you get in one day? Usually this time of year drives me insane because I start to develop SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), which many people have and they simply don’t know about. During the winter months, the days shorten, which leads to less sunlight, less vitamin D and of course, less endorphins to give us that “happy jolt” in our brain. I’ve written about this many times, which is why it still amazes me that I wonder why some days I’m feeling extremely low, and other times I’m feeling extremely high. For instance, yesterday was freezing outside. We have a slight draft coming in from the sliding glass door near the living room area. I tend to close the blinds hoping that it’ll help keep things a bit warmer. I also have skylights in the living room, to which I close the blinds on those as well in hopes of a warmer home. This leads to a very dark, yet cozy condo. I don’t mind, I usually like it that way so I can watch movies better. What I don’t realize is, that the affects of the darkness gets to me later on during the evening.

My home is very bright. I have windows all over. Whenever I have all shades opened and the sun is beaming in - my mood changes a great deal. Last night I went to bed cranky. Madelene was very quiet as well. Her “bad moods” are just being quiet and zombifying herself out on too much cable television. We were deprived of sunlight and it got dark way too fast for our liking. I found myself nitpicking at the smallest of things & basically, being a total pain in the ass to poor Madelene. When we woke up in the morning, I quickly shuffled into the living room, opened up all of the blinds, skylight shades and let the sun come beaming inside. I brewed some fresh coffee and prepared breakfast for Mad. My mood instantly changed and so did hers. When she came out into the kitchen area, I got a, “Good morning honey”, followed by a huge hug. We chatted over breakfast and we left things on a much better note. The light totally made a difference.

Later today, I will be forcing myself back into the gym for a workout and slipping into the tanning bed for 15 minutes of a good dose of “happy jolts”. Tanning beds have ultraviolet rays which provide vitamin D. Everything in moderation, right? If you cannot get to a tanning bed or stay in a bright environment all day, grab yourself some vitamin D supplements. This is the worst time of the year for depression & suicidal thoughts. I’ve been there and I know how it feels. I’ve had two classmates already attempt suicide and sadly, succeeded at it during this past month. On Christmas Eve, I had to visit the emergency room for chest pains. There were over 20 people inside getting treated and having their stomachs pumped for attempted suicide. It can happen to anyone. It can happen to the people you would least expect it from. Never take a suicidal threat lightly. It’s either a threat that will be carried out, or at least, a cry for help.