Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Are you SAD?

This is the time of year I least like. I think I may have SAD. Seasonal Affective Disorder. I have always had a hard time during the winter, not to mention my closest friend just moved to Ohio, my knee and foot throb in pain when I run, our finances are tight,and I have a messy house that no one wants to help clean unless I yell and scream, and a host of other things.

Insomnia, wight gain, sadness, irritability, low energy or fatigue, difficulty concentrating, memory loss. I have had all of these symptoms in the last couple of months on a regular basis.

I didn't want to admit that I'm broken (to a degree), due to a stubborn nature, but I am human too. In fact, I went to my doctor last week because I knew there was something wrong. He tested for Diabetes, thyroid problems, and I don't know what else. It turns out that everything is normal. Hmmm. He wanted me to take a depression questionnaire which I flatly refused to do. (politely, of course) I was not depressed. Depression is for poor, white trash, right? (harsh, but many people think that way) Now I know thats not true. My mother suffered from depression, but that is what we are taught now a days, right? That depression is something we choose? That if we are depressed, we need to get over it. Learn to deal with life. Quit feeling sorry for ourselves.

A part of me always thinks that, even though I know it's not true. I automatically think, there is nothing wrong with me. I can deal with my problems, I don't need a band aid.

Well, I think maybe I do, I guess. For a little while anyway. And before anyone starts offering all sorts of advice, I already exercise on a regular basis, (When my knee and foot let me, that's another thing I'm depressed about! ha ha), I've tried all sorts of natural remedies, self hypnosis, prayer etc... Sometimes, you just need drugs! lol I'll probably use something until spring. I do so much better in the sunshine. I need to get to a tanning booth, I think. Cancer or depression. What a toss up.

9 comments:

Yolanda said...

Would you not take insulin if you were diabetic?

What many (assuming) people don't realize, is that depression and it's counterparts are a CHEMICAL deficiency...For some people, uping their serotonin levels with exercise, diet, better sleep, or supplements, help with that deficiency...and that is great. But when your body is bottoming out, some of us just need a little "help!" The funny thing is, people joke about "boy, that person just needs a little prozac..." and the ironic thing is, anti-depressants DO NOT just give you a "high" of some sort...they ONLY work if you have a chemical imbalance, and usually it takes 2-4 weeks to subtly feel better...
My advice is don't wait like I did..for 9 months...Totally unhappy, disfunctioning, "depressed," and thinking I was CRAZY until I showed up in my pajamas (that I"d been wearing for WEEKS) with my little kids in tow, on the verge of tears, saying "I think something is wrong..."

It has been ten years...and I know that these medications are there to help people...Sometimes you can take them seasonally (like it sounds like with you), sometimes you take them once, during a specific time in your life, sometimes you wean yourself off and all is well.......For me...they enable me to live...Just like my insulin does!

Hope this helps...
xoxoxo

hi, it's me! melissa c said...

Actually, Yolanda, it helps a lot. In fact it made me cry! It's amazing how good it feels to be validated. Especially by my favorite people.

By the way, the book I'm writing, The Guitar, well, I named the main character's best friend Yolanda. I couldn't choose anything else! She's adorable, loyal, flirty, fun and a yoga instructor! SO much like you! he he. I love her. She's one of my favorites. Just wanted you to know.

Yolanda said...

I am totally flattered!!!!!

Jeri said...

it's a tough thing. You know very well that I struggle with the same feelings... I really wonder if I need to be medicated, but right now I think I'm still managing OK without... my kids and hubby may disagree... I'll be watching to see how it works out for you.

I sure do love you - in all your openness and honesty and realness...

Amy said...

My brother suffers from SAD and depression, without his medication and even sometimes with, he is in a dark place. There is nothing wrong with admitting it is something more. I finally did, but mine leads back to medication and lack of exercise. And seriously this weather does not help the healthiest! Part of the reason my DH & I take our vacation in February is because of SAD on both our parts, that and tax return funds. Pray and know you are not alone.

Charlotte said...

Melissa--I know you'll figure it out. Whether you use medication, a different form of exercise, prayer, or (and probably) a combination of all three, you'll figure it out, and it will work out for you.

The light therapy light box has been great for me, but they do tend to be a bit expensive.

Another trick that has made a big difference for me is keeping a gratitude journal. It takes about 1 minute a day, because I only write one sentence in it--just one thing for which I am grateful. Doing that one simple thing changes my outlook, which is often all I need to change my mindset and by association, my mood.

Also Yoga--I've fallen off the yoga wagon, but when I was doing it regularly, I could feel the difference it made for me mentally as well as physically. Yoga can be adapted for any level of physical ability, so I'm pretty sure you could get some of the benefits even with your injuries. (But be gentle with yourself! Don't do anything that hurts!)

Don't think I'm anti-medication though. I've gone down that road, and if I should find myself in that dark place again, I will get back on that road IN A HEARTBEAT. (Unfortunately, last time that road resulted in me being happier but also 15 pounds overweight. That's why I try to manage with these other coping strategies when I can.)

Hang in there--xoxo

Josi said...

Ah, Melissa, it is so real and just like Yolanda said, you would take insulin, you would take thyroid medication, or antibiotics. Anti-depressants are the same thing--helping even out something that is uneven. I'm so so so glad you are getting what you need, it's not a weakness, it's being smart. For me, I've found an OTC vitamin supplement that is enough for me, it's called Bio-35 and is full of natural things that even me out (Walmart $18 for a 30 day supply). But several people in my family need more than that. I'm behind you all the way and hope you get feeling better very soon.

Amy Lynn said...

Hello...I just popped on over here from Yolanda's blog (one of my favorite people!). As a much happier woman on meds, I say do what you feel is best. It is different for everyone and there is no one right or wrong answer. What is important is finding what works for you and feeling confident and happy about that decision. Depression and anxiety and emotional struggles are so real...just like all the "physical" illnesses. Thank you for being brave and bold and speaking up on the topic. I hope you feel better really soon!!

Yolanda said...

I ditto Josi---I take Bio 35 as a daily vitamin--I LOVE it--"almost" as much as my MEDS!!