It's not too late to treat seasonal affective disorder

It's not too late to treat seasonal affective disorder

It creeps on slowly, like cold molasses, enveloping me with its sticky heavy opacity. I kept trying to get away, stem the flow, but it started catching up with me.

Is it possible have PTSD about depression?

I remember the darkness, the self-doubt, the anxiety, the desire to hurt myself.

And the darkness remembers me. Because I've been incredibly depressed before, it's too easy to go back down that familiar path without realizing it. I'm vigilant, because I am scared of finding myself too far gone again, especially during the winter months because that always was when my year-round depression worsened. It also happens to be a concentration of months when a lot of trauma (or crappy crap) happened.

On the other hand, I know that mood variations are normal. How can I tell the two apart?

I'd been agonizing over that since January. It's been a crappy winter, and everyone is struggling. The cold wears a person down, making us all hunker down and eat carbs. I certainly did, though I consciously took measures to help myself. I used a light therapy lamp. Pepper the pup made me get out and walk more, just because I wanted to make him happy. I avoided the urge to snack on all carbs, I made sure to interact with friends, and I kept my negative thoughts in check.

I thought I might be able to survive this winter.

Nope.

It was slow. And it did start physically weighing me down. I can deal with it...except when it affects work. I absolutely refuse to let it affect work. I can call out for the flu for a whole week, but I can't just say, "Um, yeah, I have crippling depression that's making me not want to get out of my chair for a few months--so I'll see you guys in May?"

Nope nope nope. Especially when work is one of the few obligations that obliges me to keep moving and interacting with people like I'm normal or something.

I agonized over whether it was too late to adjust my dose--just for the depression season--then I decided that it might be better to talk with my psychiatrist. He would know if it's too late, and then we could also get it into my notes that we need to plan ahead of time for next year.

I felt like an idiot trying to explain to him last night, worried that I might sound like a druggie or an addict or something, but he understood. And it wasn't too late--so we're upping my Effexor to get me through the end of April, and see how that helps.

I'm not feeling anything yet (except tired and a little headachy), but hopefully it'll kick in before long. (hear that brain? Start working!)

 

And remember, just because I or anyone else smile, laugh, or else look normal does NOT mean we're not depressed. It's a sneaky bastard.

Filed under: recovery

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