SUMMARY: Is it SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER?
@macengr tweet-responded to these past few posts, suggesting Season Affective Disorder as a possible culprit. I’ve never been one to think I suffered from this, but I looked it up. The pertinent symptoms:
- “[…] its prevalence in the U.S. ranging from 1.4 percent in Florida to 9.7 percent in New Hampshire.” — I live in New Hampshire!
Symptoms of SAD may consist of difficulty waking up in the morning — yup
- …morning sickness — uh, nope
- …tendency to oversleep — yup
- …and over eat, especially a craving for carbohydrates — I did just uncharacteristically buy 2 bags of potatochips (2 bags for $4, which is a good deal)
- …which leads to weight gain — uh oh
- …Other symptoms include a lack of energy — yep
- …difficulty concentrating on or completing tasks — it’s been like I’ve been in a fog
- …and withdrawal from friends, family, and social activities — I have been preferring solitude
- All of this leads to the depression, pessimistic feelings of hopelessness, and lack of pleasure which characterize a person suffering from this disorder. — Sans feelings of hopelessness.
p>Another challenge this week has been swinging back into a normal schedule. Saturday and Sunday of last week were very social, which tends to sap my reserves of energy. I’d calculated once that for every hour of social activity, I need 4 hours of recovery alone time. With over 12 hours of concentrated social activity, that means 48 hours of recovery time. I took most of that in the form of staying up late and watching mindless television, which has thrown off my sleeping schedule. I’ve been able to awaken at around 6-7AM, but after getting up have fallen back sleep due to severe fuzzy-headedness.
This brings to mind the need to have a strong daily routine that is anchored to something outside of myself, and try to keep that spinning as strongly as possible every day. Right now, my sleep cycles and my work cycles are badly out of synch. Fortunately there aren’t any hard deadlines going on right now (or maybe unfortunately). Perhaps I need to load up the work schedule to dampen my wakefulness oscillation.
Or, I need to find a community to dive into to be reminded that there are people out there doing cool stuff. I’ve been finding the news feeds depressing with their shallow reporting. I was just browsing the people I’m following on Twitter and was feeling a little more inspired. I should put together a really good list that contains the people with the right energy: positive, forward looking, real, and empowered. Perhaps that can become my external reference.
I think today is another sick day. Am feeling so tired. I probably should eat a stalk of broccoli.