Thursday, January 26, 2012


My name is Kim and I have Seasonal Affective Disorder.  I am sure you have heard of it.  The acronym is so darn cute, isn't it- sad.  I mean how adorable that a disorder that makes you seem sad, can be abbreviated to S.A.D.  Living with it, however, is far from cute;)

I have to be honest, this year, the whole S.A.D thing caught me by surprise.  Last year, I was downright giddy throughout winter.  I even believe I posted about having a crush on winter.  My husband was delighted with this change in my seasonal demeanor and I thought a home with a garage and lots of sunlight was my blessed cure.

Truth be told, even though years past were nothing like last year.  I haven't even struggled greatly with S.A.D. for quite a few years.  Sure, I got a little grumpy and the season couldn't pass fast enough, but over all it was so mild it was barely noticeable.

This year, we returned from the holidays and I was exhausted emotionally and phsycially.  I lay on the couch for a week and attributed my behavior to be completely spent after traveling and a week with the in laws.  The next week, I felt pretty horrible too, but blamed this on the fact that my already pages long "to do" list was now another week behind and pages longer.  Surely, I was just overwhelmed.

My sister came up and we chipped away at "to do"s.  My laundry was caught up, my house clean and even, thanks to my OCD sister, organized.  I still felt exhausted, sad, overwhelmed, and paralyzed.  I kept MAKING myself doing more...surely I could fix this.  I felt worse.  I couldn't get enough done.  I couldn't get enough sleep.  I was a bear to live with.  Then I hit an all out panic that I surely must be pregnant.  When else have I fallen asleep at 7pm and just wanted to be alone.  I was in such a panic, it took me three days to get up the nerve to take a test....negative.  Hmmm...what next?

A nurse, like myself, should have been on this bad boy sooner.  Instead, my hubby clued me in.

In case you are unfamiliar.  Seasonal Affective Disorder is basically fall/winter onset depression.  I've had it for a long time, but haven't struggled with it to this degree for quite a few years.  Why?  pregnancy and nursing!   Hormones actually affect it.

Here are the symptoms of S.A.D:
-increased appetite with weight gain, especially an increase in intake of carbohydrates
-increased sleep and daytime sleepiness
-less energy and ability to concentrate in the afternoon
-loss of interest in work or other activities
-slow, sluggish, lethargic movement
-social withdrawal
-unhappiness and irritability

I have every single symptom this year.  I have gained 6 lbs. since my 12/24 weigh in.  I know in my head I need to eat healthier but literally nothing tastes good.  I have been consuming mostly chocolate and diet coke.  I have been unable to track on weight watchers- usally something motivating for me.  I have had great difficulty even concentrating to read a book.  I feel exhausted most of the time.  I have tried sleeping more or being more active and still just feel exhausted.  I have been going to bed on time or early and still finding great difficulty getting out of bed in the morning.  I have been going to social functions, but often feel like I'm acting when there (not that I am acting, mind you, just because it takes such effort to interact normally) and it literally takes great effort to make myself get out of the house.  I feel sad much of time time.  Irritable?  well, lets just say I've felt like I have had a terrible case of PMS for weeks now.

I started Light Therapy a week ago and forced myself to eat healthy...forced as in literally choked down veggies and fruit.  Thank the Lord, I am starting to feel normal again.  Who knew a little happy lamp could do so much good!


  1. It really is too bad we live in these cold weather climates that lend themselves to grey skies for the winter. Glad the light is helping - hang in there! The sun will come out soon!

  2. I forgot to ask about your light! So glad that it is helping! I feel like I have s.a.d. right now...or maybe its just 'cause its 10 pm and my house is a mess and I have no other choice but to stay up and clean before my in-laws come tomorrow.... :) thanks for letting me procrastinate just a little bit longer by reading your stories :) Karla

  3. Praying for you, friend! I think S.A.D. gets worse as we get older. I have been worse this year, too (not as bad as your symptoms).