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Dealing with SAD

Posted by

24 September 2009

Anxiety and Depression

It's that time of the year again -- the beauty of fall has also brought with it less sunshine and more gray sullen rainy days, and here comes another round of my struggle with SAD (seasonal affective disorder).

Since the day before yesterday, I've been feeling extremely tired and depressed. I lost interest in the things I usually love to do (yes, even the computer, even the Wii games) and wasn't even able to carry out simple housework. Then, I was further upset because I didn't do all the things I planned to do. As I struggled to get out of the couch to make dinner, it suddenly struck me that I didn't want to sink further down and I wanted to do something to stop myself from going into this downward spin.

I looked into my medicine cabinet and then realized, for my own reason (and a totally legitimate and doctor approved reason), I have planned not to take antidepressants for the time being. And besides, my old pills have past the expiration date. Sigh. what do I do now???

Anyways, I somehow finished cooking and realized how dark it was in the room (and outside, too). So, I turned on the brightest light in the house and then some more. True, these artificial lights aren't the same as the happy shining sun, but they are better than having to be in a dark environment. So, that gave me some confidence in gaining some control.

When Hubby came back home, I mentioned how things changed for me in the past couple of days. A believer of physical exerices, he immediately said, "Hon, drag yourself to the loft and turn on the Wii game. After a couple of games, you'll feel a little better." I was cynical and said, "Yeah, right, here we go again, exercise cures all. I don't see how it helps, I usually lose the tenis games. And I hate losing." He said, "Then try the bowling game." "My level is so high that now every time I play, my score decreases if I don't match my best." "So what? Just go and pour your unhappiness out at your 'opponents'. Try it!" "O...K..."

So I went, played 3 single games of tenis. To my total surprise I won 2 out of the 3 and finally reached pro level. And truth is, although I didn't feel I lashed out my unhappiness on my pixel opponents (that part is what people without depression don't understand, it's not like if it was lashed out (even if it could be lashed out), it would go away) and I still felt/feel faraway from my usual self, I did feel a little less depressed. It's like the game *is* helpful in some way. So, maybe it's worth playing a little everyday after all.

Today it's still gray and sullen with rains here and there, but I got up a teeny little happier than yesterday, although I still physically have this pressure in my chest feeling. I don't know, I guess I've decided to give keeping (or forcing myself to keep) as active as I possibly can a try. Maybe it'll work? Hopefully? And I'm definitely turning on the lights.

This SAD stuff has definitely affected my gut -- as soon as I woke up this morning, I was hit by this bad pain and stayed in bed unable to move a single movement for at least half an hour. Luckily my BMs are still formed. Bananas and crackers really helped. And the reflexology pain/D reduction points were helpful, too. Although when it happens it still happens, I guess now at least I feel I have some ways to deal with it.

As a side note, interestingly, I picked up the same reflexology book at breakfast and found that there's a point for relieving mild depression (I guess mine is mild?), too! I'll give it a try and see how much it can help.

And this morning I saw this TCM show on TV and there's something that's really interesting -- ECIWO (embryo containing the information of the whole organism, which, btw has NOTHING to do with stem cell research, is termed as "holographic unit" in the past). Apparently it provides an important modern theoretical foundation for reflexology. That's really interesting! Maybe I could google something out and read more about this. LOL, as I'm writing at this moment, I realized that maybe I am on the right track! I'm feeling like I've gotten at least some energy to find some interest in this :)

Anyways, I'll see if I could nail this and stop myself from becoming as much affected by this SAD thing as before. Fingers crossed.
Now what's with this bad pressure in my chest, like someone put a big rock on it?? This is something new -- I never felt like this during previous years' SAD bouts. No it's not my GERD, and no I didn't have insomnia this past couple weeks. And last checkup my heart is functioning well. I just really hope this could go away!

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Sep 28 2009 01:50 PM

Hi Cherrie!

I´m really sorry you´re dealing with SAD. I´m one of those weird people who actually don´t mind rainy weather, but I can totally imagine why you´re feeling depressed because of this sudden change. I on the other hand really hate hot days - I don´t even go out most of the time when it´s really hot out there Guess everyone perceives the weather in different ways.

Now tell me something about a chest pressure - I´ve been dealing with it for the last 3/4 weeks together with difficulty breathing and insomnia -but in my case it has everything to do with college stress. Like the last night I didn´t sleep at all and it feels horrible. Haven´t you been stressed/under pressure over the last few days? Of course there can be many reasons for a chest pressure, but it is a very common symptom of stress and anxiety. I´ve read somewhere that it is a symptom of a chronic stress, after some time when all the stress builds up in our minds and bodies this is how some of us react to that. I always have the chest pressure and breathing problems during finals, too.
I have actually decided to seek help for these problems, because it´s gotten pretty severe for me now and there´s a really tough year ahead of me and I need to be fit and do well. If your problems don´t stop I´d rather talk to a doctor about it - you never know and maybe there´s a hidden stress behind your problems that you don´t even know about.

I hope the SAD gets better soon ... everything crossed for you xxx




Sep 29 2009 09:01 AM

Hiya Evu! Thank you sooo much!

Yeah, it's the weirdest feeling to feel depressed because of weather changes... I've been doing a lil better since I wrote this entry, with a lot of effort trying to distract myself... There was a couple of sunny days over the weekend, so it was pretty OK. Today's gonna be the real test cos it's all dark again outside. I'll try my best to keep busy...

I'm so sorry that you're also dealing with chest pressure. It's a most uncomfortable feeling. How are you feeling today? Hope you're feeling a little better. And I totally agree -- stress and anxiety is definitely a major trigger for this. I'm so relieved to know you've sought help from a dr. Mine went away after a few days, although today i'm feeling it a lil bit. I'll see my dr. soon, so I'll definitely ask about this.

{{{Big HUGS}}} to you!


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