Monday, August 18, 2008

Living with Depression, Redux

Last year, in mid-July, I made a video entitled "Living in Fear: Living with Depression".

I always hope that another bout will "be my last" and I will miraculously shed what has been pretty well a life-long illness. Unfortunately, there is always "one more time". In fact, I recently realized that more and more that mid-July and through August are particularly bad times for me. In fact, every late-July through the end of August, since 2000 when I had a major bout which I very nearly didn't make it through, I have gone through a major depression.

This last month or so has been no exception and I went through another firestorm which ended about a week and a half ago.

What exactly triggers it or what exactly makes it harder at this time of year to cope with difficult circumstances, I don't know.

Someone suggested to me that it might have something to do with the days becoming shorter. That may well be. I know that at the suggestion of my sister I started taking a daily does of Vitamin D. Whether this was the direct cause of the eventual dissipation of the anxiety and depression this time around, I don't know.

I do know that this year I noticed a distinct up and down in the mood patterns, sometimes from hour to hour, coinciding with a change in the weather, even if I wasn't anywhere I could see the change in weather. Since this summer the weather has changed on an almost hourly basis, with storm clouds rushing in and then the weather suddenly reverting to cloudless sky.... and my mood shifting almost simultaneously. It wasn't just me noticing it. Friends and co-workers could see it in my face and demeanor.

While I know that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is common during winter months (in the Northern Hemisphere) but I don't seem to have as much of a problem during the winter as some people do. My bouts seem fairly restricted to the end of summer (although I do have bouts at other times, they are not nearly as serious as the ones I go through at this time of year).

I would be interested in knowing whether there are any studies which show seasonal problems OTHER than winter being a particular problem.

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