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Re: Reverse SAD?, Weather, Meds (long post)

Posted by jrw on March 9, 2001, at 16:30:54

In reply to Reverse SAD?, Weather, Meds (long post), posted by Cece on March 9, 2001, at 3:14:27

Yes, I have this reverse SAD as well. Almost every
summer for many years, I have some type of
depressive episode. Now that it's March, I'm
actually dreading the coming hot and sunny months.

I feel better in the fall and winter, but not
always good. But yes, I have a similar experience.
It's very strange...because most people can
understand being down when the weather is cold
and overcast...but not when the weather is 'good'.

> I just found the thread "Type A or Bipolar?" started by Mikki in 10/98:
> and was very interested to hear a seasonal mood pattern which resembles my own described. My pdoc has told me that my pattern is rare, but I'm curious if maybe other people out there experience anything similar— ? I'm also quite affected by weather within seasons.
> Here's an outline of my experience:
> SUMMER: April (along with October) is my favorite month- I like the balance of light day to night, the interesting things happening in nature, and the feeling of change in the air. But my business, landscaping, is maniacally busy in Spring, and in past years I would begin feeling good and energetic, then push myself harder and harder, and get crazier and crazier as summer approached. I can’t keep up that pace anymore- thank god.
> SUMMER: since college- long before my "Spring maniacal" business (I’m 52), I have experienced a "reverse" SAD- I get very depressed by mid-summer (July for sure), and this continues until around early October. The way I experience it is that I feel assaulted by the bright light and glare of the summer sun, and I also feel extremely low energy when the weather is hot. I withdraw socially, find it extremely difficult to concentrate and to work, and feel more and more desperate for relief- I have felt like driving off a cliff or throwing myself out of a window- not necessarily to die, just to "break free". Smoggy, hazy, bright days are the worst; clear air and blue skies are somewhat better (I Live in CA and we get summer drought with virtually no rain to clear the air). I do enjoy the long days, as I like to be outside, and I feel better in the evenings as the light and temperature soften, although still very withdrawn. Every summer I say to myself ‘next year I have to somehow manage to just take August off from life’- but of course, this is not so easy to do (uless you're a pdoc in NYC).
> AUTUMN: Similar to Spring, but calmer, and the feeling of release from my Summer jail cell. I can count on feeling good by October. I have a spell of solid productivity.
> WINTER: I like the quiet of winter, although I get frustrated by the short days, and I often have a hard time with the holiday season (so what else is new?) I like the rain, wind, and our occasional storm, and I love it when the weather changes, and a blue sky comes out. Winter is a reflective time for me, and at it’s best, refreshing. I live where winters are mild, but also enjoyed the 3 winters that I lived in Vermont.
> CHANGES!: This last year, I actually enjoyed summer and only had brief periods of slipping into social withdrawal, which I was able to push myself out of. I started dating again after a long hiatus, and went swimming fairly regularly. I had recently begun Lamictal, and it seemed that that might be making the difference. I was however, avoiding dealing with my work, and I was behaving borderline promiscuously. I felt like the avoidance was some kind of depression (even though I was having fun), and at the same time wondered if I was slightly hypomanic because of my sexual behavior. But it was the first time I’d had a good spell and some fun in a long time- I felt like I was on a much needed vacation, and I didn’t want to give it up. It can be hard to tell the difference, from this perspective, between being okay and having a good time, and being off-center. Since then, I seem to have evened out on the Lamictal.
> MISC (RELATED?) INFO: I am not now, nor have I ever been, a ‘morning person’. Left to my own devices, I happily stay up until 2am and sleep until 10.
> I take (many) other meds besides Lamictal- if anyone is interested, they are listed at the end of a long post I made:
> I'd really appreciate hearing about other people's similar, or different experiences. I am VERY curious to see what this year's seasons bring me.
> Thanx,
> Cece




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