Today, in Canada, is Bell Let's Talk Day
, a day devoted to ending some of the stigmas associated with mental illness.
I don't generally talk about specifics with respect to my personal life/health on my blog, but in honour of the day, here goes...
For a while, when my marriage was falling apart, I took the anti-depressant Citalopram/Celexa
. At the time, I didn't feel as though the medication was doing much good, although others around me insisted that they saw significant improvement.
Every winter, I suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
. The degree to which I am affected by SAD depends on many factors, the worst being the WEATHER. And believe me, this year, we've had plenty of WEATHER here in Ontario.
I take extra vitamin D. I exercise as often as I'm able/motivated (plenty of shovelling snow this winter so far). I try to get out into the sunlight as often as possible. These coping strategies help, but they don't always work at overcoming my winter blues.
The best treatment is usually a trip to warmer climates over winter, but lately I haven't had the budget for such a trip.
Some days, when my SAD hits hard (usually when my IBS
flares up, I get so down I find it difficult to get through the day. Sometimes my biggest accomplishment is having a shower and making meals for myself and/or my family.
When I'm really down, everything is harder. The slightest "bad luck" can reduce me to tears. And I hate crying
, because it makes me feel weak and/or vulnerable. But crying DOESN'T MAKE ME
weak or vulnerable, in truth. I simply worry
that it does, and that worry is aggravated by the SAD.
The next time you're thinking of a friend, offer your support
(especially if it's been a hard winter). Something as simple as a phone call or an email or meeting up at a coffee shop can make a huge difference in a person's life. I'm much more likely to get out of the house if I feel obligated to do so...because I've made an appointment to meet a friend.
A kind word, or a hug, or meeting for coffee can profoundly help a person in need.