The Winter Blues
I know I’ve shared a bit about my postpartum depression journey, but to be honest I struggled with depression long before the twins were born. I’ve gone through several phases in my life time: depression isn’t real, depression is real, anti depressants are just a scheme concocted by big pharma, anti depressants are life savers, I’m a victim, I’m the victor, being sad only in the winter months is a myth, I can see how being sad during winter months could exist.
I just turned 35 a few weeks ago and I have been doing some serious digging into my thoughts and emotions. I’m so adamant to figure out the root cause of my depression and emotional eating because I so desperately want to not pass those things onto our children. The truth is, through all the phases, bouts of depression, anxiety and intrusive thoughts one thing has remained a constant contributor - the seasons. I used to think this was all a bunch of hocus Pocus, but I was also a know it all teenage brat - haha didn’t we all go through that phase? It took years of experiences, life events, therapy sessions for me to realize seasonal defective disorder (AKA S.A.D) exists, anti depressants are okay to consume and actually do help and that therapy is a really resourceful tool especially when you don’t have a strong support system in place.
I need the sun. Something about the short grey days push my depression to the forefront of everything I’m feeling inside.
Alison Kerry, from the mental health charity MIND, says: “With SAD, one theory is that light entering the eye causes changes in hormone levels in the body. In our bodies, light functions to stop the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, making us wake up.
“It’s thought that SAD sufferers are affected by shorter daylight hours in the winter. They produce higher melatonin, causing lethargy and symptoms of depression.”
Some only feel sadness or bouts of depression during the winter months, others (like me) get a double whammy effect when winter settles in when we are already dealing with general depression and anxiety.
So, if you think you’re a fellow S.A.D. Sufferer what can you do?
Here‘s a few tips on how you can find some relief :
Go outside as often as you can. Brisk walks outdoors can be just what the doctor ordered to alleviate some of those depressive feelings.
Light Therapy I know it sounds a little funny, but several people have found relief from light therapy. Light therapy is often used to treat SAD patients. Light therapy basically involves sitting in front of or beneath a light box that produces a very bright light. Your doctor can give you more information If you’re interested.
Eat Right and Move! I honestly need to be better about this myself. I know when I’m depressed my go to is sugary or carb filled food. Health experts actually suggest eating well and working out 30 mins a day at least 3x a week. Exercise is one of the most underutilized drug for depression. If you have a tendency towards SAD, outdoor exercise will have a double benefit, because you’ll gain some daylight!
2020 hasn’t been the best year and now with the lack of human contact depression and suicide is on the rise. Please know that if you’re suffering from depression that there is always help out there and someone who cares.
SAMHSA’s National Helpline – 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.
Please know that you are loved and that even when you feel alone in the world that you always have a friend who has been there to confide in - Me.
I am available anytime to chat if you need a friend or some support, just reach out! :
Instagram : @proud_and_twinning
Text : 1(636)362-6469