Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Is it Cabin Fever or just the classic SAD funk.

This year it hit me like a freight train it's Cabin Fever or the classic S.A.D. Seasonal Affect Disorder! I try to make jokes about it, like naming my business Cabin Fever In Alaska. Symptoms include restlessness, irritability, forgetfulness, excessive sleeping or eating a loaf of crusty bread. In years past I took various anti-depressants to ward of cabin fever this entails taking them months before the inevitable crash. In August when I am experiencing summer SAD with it symptoms of persistently elevated mood, increased social activity, hyperactivity and unbridled enthusiasm. this is when the doctor recommends i begin my anti-depressant regimen, before the other symptoms manifest. This year i did not consider falling under the train four months from then. Denial is one of the side effects.

I suspect i'm like alot of other people who secretly believe that to admit depression is like admitting defeat or mental or moral weakness. There is a certain stigma and shamefulness about not keeping your mental attitude healthy and not being able to manage your feelings.

But i will not go down without a fight: today i got out and took some art to Anchorage FireFly Gallery, and in spite of the sun setting i stopped off at Body Renewal and walked on the treadmill for 30 minutes, took my multivitamins heavy on the B complex, talked to my friends, and i monitored my thoughts carefully as to not allow "that first think" that always leads to the "second think" and before i know what hit me i'm drunk with the funk and it's not pretty.

The holidays are here so keep up the XMax Cheer! Let me know how you deal with it.


annie kelleher said...

oh poor judy!!! i am sending you sunny thoughts from marginally less dark connecticut... i don't much like it when the clock says 6 pm and the outside is pitch black!! but what a good blog topic... i think i will give you the rest of my answer on my blog :)))))

P.A. GIbbons said...

Judy; well, I have suffered from SAD for years and never really understood what was going on till about 5 years ago. Last year in November I tried a new antidepressant (I had been off them for years) and had such a horrid reaction, on my birthday no less, that I resolved to do everything in my power to battle the depression naturally.

Yes, I have a hard time going out past sunset, , but once I do get out, I have a good time. I have to force myself.

I have a hard time doing anything actually past dark save want to go to bed and hibernate on top of my heated mattress. Or type on my laptop in bed. BUt I have mananged to thus far not get too bad.

PLUS the docs said my hormones are WHACKED so now I am on progesterone....we shall see what that does to this hormonally challenged body.


Andrea said...

Hi Judy,
I hope you don't mind a stranger commenting, but I found you through P.A. Gibbons.

I lived in Alaska for three years when I was in the Army. Man, that first full winter was horrible! I didn't think I could deal with the darkness, but luckily, going home to visit the family in Virginia brightened me up considerably. Later winters were dealt with by staying busy and hanging with my friends. Oh, yeah, there was that baby who was born in January, too! Hehehe....

Anyway, I feel your pain. Even now, living in the south I suffer from SAD to a lesser extent. I wish we could all be a little less stubborn about using meds when we actually need them, but it's difficult to think we need meds when we "feel fine". The ensuing crash is pretty hard.

Hugs from Tennessee,

PS Wasilla is mighty fine. It's one of the few places in AK I'd consider relocating to.

Judy Vars said...

Yea someone who can relate to the cabin fever syndrome. Still I love it in alaska. You've been to Wasilla and love it? Well I guess there are some redeeming qualities.