When the sun goes out in the winter, it almost feels as if our moods darken as well. You're lethargic, feel low, and just can't seem to get yourself out of this funk. You're not imagining things; you're feeling the winter blues.
Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as "winter blues", and "seasonal depression", is a depression that occurs the same season every year. It can happen any season, but it appears to be more common in winter. (https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/tc/seasonal-af...)
I live in northeast Maine, a very cold place, far, far away from the equator. I hate winter, which can last as long as six months out of the year (Maine weather is so comically unpredictable). When it's warm and sunny, I feel so carefree, brave, light, throwing my hair back. In winter when the sky is bland and the temperatures drop, I feel rock heavy, vulnerable, and less likely to leave my bed.
I already struggle with anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression, which occur on their own schedules, regardless of the changing seasons. Every day I wake up, trying to keep my conditions at bay, but when you add seasonal affective disorder to the mix, I just want to stay all day in bed, sleep away the day, sleep away winter. Like the winter sky, darkness seems to last longer.
In winter, I feel so hopeless, bored, stir crazy, all at once. There's an emptiness that seems to linger for months, and I feel like I'm surviving day to day, rather than living and enjoying my days. I'm a grateful person and I know life can be worse, but depression really sucks, especially when it feels like it's on a seasonal schedule.
There's nothing we can do about the weather or how it affects us, but all I can do is tell myself that like my other conditions, the feelings will pass eventually and there's always something good every day. In the meantime, I take advantage of the indoors: cleaning, go through summer clothes I no longer want, listen to music, write. I gather up all the items and clothes I no longer want and donate them to thrift stores, and homeless shelters, because it feels good to let go of things I no longer need, feels good to give back.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: