Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Seasonal Depression

This is the time of year that I usually get depressed. I wake up and have to drag myself to the shower, and generally want to sleep all day.

It wasn't always this way. I think it has something to do with the weather up here. It's a bit colder- about ten degrees than Virginia, where I grew up- and the winter lasts a little longer. Fall is gorgeous in New England, and Canada, but it's also dark a lot of the time, and lack of sunlight can be oppressive after a while. Usually by March I'm wishing that the skies weren't so grey.

This semester I hope not to experience any of the grinding depression I did last year or the year before. Two years ago, it was because my Grandmother had just died. Last year, I think I was adjusting to the TA grind. This year, I'm hoping to remain as detached as possible.

6 comments:

Hiromi said...

Dude. There has *got* to be an alternative to depression besides making yourself not care.

sock puppet said...

Light therapy and/or antidepressant medications (in particular, SSRIs) are often effective treatments for SAD. There are also herbal remedies with which some people with mild depression report success.

Rufus said...

I've considered getting one of those lamps. Also, I'm going to start walking to the Y and swimming a few nights a week. And, to be honest, my social worker wife isn't going to let me cope by detaching. But, I think it's sort of necessary with the university situation I'm in. I study at a very non-academic state university. And that definitely bothered me last year. I got very depressed about it actually, which was probably a little weird. I know that it was tough for everyone around me, who wanted to support me (and did!), but had to hear constantly about "Why are the people in my seminar so fucking stupid?!"

So, I don't want to go down that road this time. But, you're definitely right Hiromi- emotional detachment isn't much of an alternative!

sock puppet said...

Exercise is definitely a good way to go... make it a part of your routine. But don't get down on yourself if you occasionally miss a work-out. The guilt does nothing for depression. All the better if your wife will exercise with you, as she can be a gentle motivator during those times you aren't feeling particularly enthusiastic.

clairev said...

just a therapeutic factoid from a clinical social worker to-be: sometimes healthy detachment is exactly what we need to get through rough times as a form of protection. not a cruel and brutal state of unfeeling, but an ability to be in touch with and to set boundaries with our feelings.

Rufus said...

Also I think I was internalizing a lot of this stuff last year. Blaming myself because the kids I was were so completely cut off from any sort of culture or history. When, you know, that might just be the way society is right now. So, maybe the trick is just to invest myself in things that are more healthy.