mental illnesses

it really hit home several weeks/months ago when dooce posted her blog about living with depression.  i don’t suffer from major depressive disorder (typical depression), but i have come to realize, i definitely have a bad case of seasonal affective depressive disorder – aka i become severely depressed during the winter, particularly january through march, with a peak in february. 

with SADD* (ironic) – you have all the typical symptoms of depression, just the time varies:

  • depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day
  • sleep disturbances – increased or decreased
  • maker decrease in interest and pleasure in most activities
  • feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • fatigue or low energy every day
  • decreased concentration, inability to think, decreased memory
  • psychomotor agitation
  • appetite – increased or decreased
  • suicidality

and you only need 5 of the above.  mine? depressed mood, sleep, decreased interest, fatigue, concentration.  if you want more information:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/seasonal-affective-disorder/DS00195

 most people have a difficult time believing that mental illnesses are real, and they think that if you want to get better you will.  however, as i learned on psych – such is not the case.  this winter, i tried to go through it without treatment, and i have been miserable.  now seeing my inability to handle the illness on my own without destroying my life around me, i have started my treatment – fortunately for me, my treatment involves exposure to light – which for now, the cheaper option is tanning.  with time i can purchase a special light of my own, or i could just keep going tanning and wear sunscreen.  i really don’t care nor feel the need to tan.  but, it does encourage me to move to a warmer climate in the future.

* does not refer to students against drunk driving

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