‘Tis the Season: seasonal affective disorder

The Winter Blues

The Winter Blues

Ugh. It’s still cold. Still gray. Still snow piled up everywhere. Ice all around everywhere I park. And inside, no matter where I go, it’s fricken ICE COLD. I can’t get warm! I have a cough and I can’t shake it! And here come the holidays, much of which I’ll spend alone, like every year. The holidays may be the cruelest time, but they’re also the right time for us to remember the friends who need us the most.

I might as well point out up front that I’m not a shrink, so I don’t exactly have a license to tell you what I’m about to tell you. But I DO have a couple friends with Seasonal Affective Disorder, so I can tell you what it looks like.

It’s NOT the Winter Blues. It’s NOT Cabin Fever. That stuff is stuff we’re all subject to. Part of the human condition. A result of the Fall, if you will, and in more ways than one.

Per Google Health, here’s what it IS: you’re (probably) not getting enough sunlight, or enough of the right kind. You’re feeling lonely and depressed. You lack energy all the time. You load up on carbos. And with all that, of COURSE you’re gaining weight. Which can cause all these symptoms to cycle back around on themselves.

If ever there was evidence of a literal, human-hating Devil, Seasonal Affective Disorder is it.

And unfortunately, not being a shrink, I can’t recommend a cure – not for you, not for your friends who may have it. But I can tell you that it’s treatable, usually with some combination of simulated sunlight, simple medication, and talk therapy.

Unfortunately again, “talk therapy” doesn’t mean “opening up to your friends.” Would that it did. Because our friends can heal us in so many ways. But talk therapy requires that we have a listener who can hear our whole story without judgment, and without having our own angle. How often do our friends come to us with pain, and we either wanna solve the problem (that’s a man thing) or identify with it (that’s a woman thing)? So let them find professional help if it comes to that, and love them either way.

NEW BLOG POST IDEA: because our friends need active listeners, especially when they hurt, why don’t we learn the art of active listening? (Stay tuned.) 🙂


~ by Dr. Ron Graham on December 22, 2010.

One Response to “‘Tis the Season: seasonal affective disorder”

  1. Hey my good friend! I saw your wonderful post, and thought I’d try to help by digging up and re-posting and old article of mine on Seasonal Affective Disorder…and the Christmas Blues. http://kariusandassociates.com/?p=447

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