Living in a state that doesn’t really get the same severity of weather change as my mainland counterparts I’ve never really thought of myself as being prone to SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) but lately my April has been extremely rainy. As I’ve been tracking my mood more I’ve wondered if I may suffer from mild SAD or if it’s just another manifestation of my dysthymic disorder
The idea that the seasonal shift and weather affect mood isn’t new, the idea of winter blahs is pretty old. For me while the weather used to affect me slightly (mostly in terms of lethargy) it wasn’t until my divorce and subsequent depressive episode that I really started to examine the impact the weather had on me. If you notice your mood and depression is heavily influenced by the season changes you may want to give the article above a quick look.
For me the early indicators have been the increase in laziness, a general dislike of going outside and diminished appetite when the weather turns. I’ve tried to counter act those influences by using a warmer light setting on my adjustable LED lamp that I keep near my bedside, reducing red meat and increasing whole grains and fruits. It’s certainly not fool proof but it helps get me out of the ‘I’m dragging’ feeling so that I can at least move about the house and try to get things done. With the cold, decreased sunlight and rain (especially for me) the instinct to curl up in a bed and just let things pass you by is really hard to overcome but small nuanced changes do help. This time last year I doubt I’d be writing as much or even having any interest in seeing what’s going on in the world. The mood outside affected or magnified my already depressive mood. These days I’m more aware of the direction of my mental state and rather than try to dramatically shift it, I’ve found mechanisms to nudge it back into a safer direction.
If you think you might suffer from a form of depressive disorder talk to a physician or a therapist, see about things you can do to help you manage the symptoms.