It's October... which means seasonal effective disorder or SADs is on the rise.
SADs is a form of depression brought on by the change of seasons and is most vigilant during the fall and winter months. SADs, according to the Mayo Clinic website, can and should be treated as any other form of depression. In addition to encouraging anyone reading this article to research and seek help on SADs, I would also like to provide a few encouraging reminders to help you through your SAD season.
Trust me, SADs is sweeter when it's accompanied by loving words of advice.
1. You are worthy. And, you are so deeply loved.
I know this one is a bit cliche, BUT it's a fact. If your worth was any less, your lungs wouldn't support you anymore; those things only stop sucking in air when you have served your life's purpose. God's got big things planned for you If you are still breathing (and all of you reading this are... so get pumped!)
2. You will never experience the same exact "problem/season" again (Exodus 14:3).
The way you or those you love experience SADs can change over the years. You may go long stents of time without SADs. It is also possible that you may only have one SAD season and be done with it forever. Whatever the case may be for you, know that you'll never have to live the same SAD day ever again.
3. Get a tribe. Hug them close.
Genesis 2:7 literally says "it is not good for man to be alone." I am a firm believer that relationships can save lives and it is my personal opinion that loving people (significant others, siblings, parents, strangers even) can make the best make-shift therapist. You do not have to walk in your SAD season alone!
4. Don't believe the lies!
Sometimes when you are having a particularly hard day, thoughts like "maybe no one actually likes me" pop into your head. THIS THOUGHT IS A LIE! When thoughts like this pressure you into isolation and despair, remember mental health disorders can tell lies and lies, by definition, are not the truth. Also, spend some time figuring out what your truth is. Knowing your truth is essential to identifying lying thoughts.
5. Lastly, joy is a choice.
I know this sounds ridiculous and completely anti-mental health help... but, I promise you it is vital to improving your mental health journey. You have the power to decide exactly how much life SADs is going to steal from you. There will be days SADs will back you into a corner and make you feel small, insignificant, and insufficient. When you feel like this, gather all the strength you have and stand on the fact that you have purpose, you are worthy, and you won't be sad forever. You'd be amazed at how joyful you'll become when you learn to fight against the feels.
My dearest reader, It is my hope your SEASON of SADs is stunted and severely shorten by the advice listed in this article. Please know it is not uncommon or shameful to develop or deal with SADs. Please don't be afraid to seek professional help and do everything in your power to see another spring!
SADs is just a seasonal thing. SADs, and all the other mental health issues, shall pass.
(All advice should be taken in tandem with professional mental health)