Each spring I wonder about what the oncoming summer will be like. Is it going to be a good year or a bad one. For someone who suffers from Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder a fine summer can be a real pain. Some suffer due to an overexposure of light and others it’s simply the heat, which I can sympathise with. For me it’s sunlight and this year we’re having plenty of it. Damn. Bright light to me is like two men standing either side of you shouting non-stop directly into your ears. Sensory overload can be rather debilitating.
I started to notice some of the symptoms like insomnia, anxiety, irritability and decreased appetite. All these symptoms can occur normally under any circumstance so how would I know? The penny dropped with decreased appetite, or rather the lack of a continuous appetite. I no longer take comfort in eating, which for me is bizarre.
Hayley made a great lasagne the other night and I felt that I was overeating, that really doesn’t happen very often and it’s been like this for the last few weeks now, regardless of the amount of food. I’m also a belt size down which can be seen as an upside but I’m also rather touchy. At work my talent to see both sides of an argument seems to have gone right out the window.
All in all these are things I can live with I suppose. I mean, it’s not like I need to take time off work. Lying in bed sulking will only make it worse. Just making a concerted effort to do what I should be doing makes all the difference. Very bright summers, for me, are a chore and a real annoyance. Sunglasses help me cope with my aversion to bright light but don’t seem to halt Summer SAD.
One worry I also have is that I can suffer from spells of depression. Reverse SAD (aka Summer SAD) can make me more prone to depression. Reverse SAD, unlike regular Seasonal Affective Disorder, doesn’t necessarily lead to depression and apparently doesn’t effect others this way at all. Considering that I once upon a time in my now distant youth was treated for clinical depression, I’m more attuned to any change in my mood and therefore unlikely to lapse.
So if I seem slightly unfocused, irritated and or withdrawn, you may just think it’s me being me. I, on the other hand, blame the weather.
Update: Clarifying the confusion about Reverse SAD and depression. They’re linked but Reverse SAD doesn’t always result in depression.