I have a case of the Januaries. It likely began in mid-December, but now it’s in full swing. All I want to do is sleep, I’m moody and irritable, and my outlook has taken a turn for the distinctly bleak… I’ve slid into self-diagnosed Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), what my therapist might otherwise call Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood.
I’m someone who is definitely affected by the low exposure to sunlight, the lack of vitamin D, the waning stores of serotonin in my body. And while I wish to do little but hibernate, struggle to maintain a positive attitude and experience bizarre feelings of anger in response to being physically cold, my kind of depression pales in comparison to what I know so many people struggle with on a regular basis. I may wallow for a bit or go on a crying jag but, generally speaking, I can pull myself back up out of it within a number of hours and at least be minimally social, productive and effective as a parent. I rely on the assistance of my friends, vitamin D supplements and a natural serotonin enhancer.
For any of you who may be feeling a bit down this winter, please reach out to your friends and loved ones, find something you can look forward to, be grateful that each day gets a little longer, take care of yourselves and seek whatever kind of help and support you need to let the light back in. We’re each responsible for our own mental health — and there are resources aplenty for those willing to seek them.