Sunday, December 28, 2008

Why so SAD?

I suffer from what professionals call Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. The family I grew up in called it "the wackies," although we called a lot of things "the wackies:" that feeling of dread you get on Sunday nights before facing a long work week, post-partum depression, and the crazy lady in the ward who likes to bear her testimony about her cat.

People who suffer from SAD don't always recognize it, but everyone around them does. Kulani knows to walk carefully, as if on egg shells. He watches me carefully and calls home often to make sure his girls and me are okay. Even the little girls sense a change in me: they scurry pretty fast when I get tense and my voice rises a notch or two. I'm not dangerous when SAD sets in, but I do get grumpy faster than normal.

My symptoms include not wanting to go outside or anywhere. Not caring about much of anything, including taking a shower or brushing my teeth. If I could build a cacoon of blankets around me and stay in one spot until spring, I would. But not doing anything makes it worse, and I start to feel like a caged bird needing to get out. I don't really want to talk to anyone or see anyone except my little family.

I hate it. Like people who suffer from depression, you learn to trudge through it. I know it will go away when the sun comes out. How do people live in places like Minnesota, North Dakota, Sweden, or Seattle? If it gets really bad, I may invest in one of those special lamps you sit in front of that are supposed to help. I've developed other coping skills as well. I force myself to do those things I don't want to do. Exercise really helps. And I let little things fall by the wayside. And thankfully I have a loving, understanding husband who knows when to step in and take the girls and me for a night out.

I have so many things I have wanted to blog about: the fantastic Fisher Christmas party hosted by Kuhia and Susan; the lessons learned from this year's Christmas gifts; and my New Year's goals for weight loss. But I'm feeling too blah-zay to write anything, well, except for this. Don't expect any pictures with this post.


karin said...

How we get through it? There are really no magical tricks... we light a lot of candles, try to get out as much as possible while the sun is out, drink hot drinks and long for the looong, beautiful summer days. Every year, in november, almost everyone I know who lives here wants to emigrate... and during the summer, all the Swedes I know who live abroad wish they could be back.
One of those special lamps might really help though - in Stockholm there's even a "light café" that I've heard is really popular during the winter months. I hope you'll feel better soon!

Patrick Lindsay said...

Me too Cindy!

I've just been chastised for adding Lani's name to the last post even though he dictated every word. Online stage fright I guess. So don't mention it to him.

Anyway, get the lamp. It really does help SOOOO much. I have a touch myself and if it weren't for tanning/and/or mid-season tropical vacations I wouldn't make it. Really.

Kim said...

Screw having some special lamp in your home. I say, Get a tanning pass. It gets you out of the house. Take a mango smoothie in with you. You will spend the next 30 minutes relaxing on the beach of your choice sipping a fancy drink! Do this once a week and even though, by the end of the winter, you'll look like that girl that lives down the street from you (wink wink), you'll be a happy camper. I did this when I was in school in Logan and wasn't a very happy person. Worked like a charm for me. Let's schedule a time each week for me to take your girls and you take a break!!!

Amo said...

Cindster -- I'm with you -- I hate the long, dreaded winter that sets in the second the Christmas presents have been opened. January is a cursed month wherein nothing good happens (except Mom's birthday). I think it must only be endured. That said, when I lived in Sweden, one of my Danish companions convinced me to go tanning on p-days for about 4 weeks in a row and it was the best temporary cure I've experienced. Other than that, on with the dieting (which will increase the wackies) and exercise (which will negate the dieting increase). Hears praying spring comes early this year!!

Amo said...

Oh yeah, the only other thing that gets me through the long, dreaded winter -- the return of 24! It makes Monday evenings bearable. The only problem is that it twists reality in my mind. Whenever a world crisis happens, I always wonder why it takes the US government so long to figure it out and solve the problem. Jack would have it solved in a few minutes with a handgun and an explosive device!

MarySquare said...

Hey, I didn't see that you had posted those last two posts on our Sisters blog. I'm getting back in the game -- so I'm going to put up a new post on that blog.