Seasonal Depression in a Pandemic: Winter Is originating

In yesteryear six months, I have paid attention to more news, science, opinions, and press conferences than ever before. In this age of instant information, it is a blessing to stay aware of coronavirus updates and associated public health advisories, however the onslaught of facts can be overwhelming if I am not within the right headspace to receive the information.

I think many people have found on their own this precipice recently. You want to tune in; we want to protect our family members and grow safe and healthy. On the flip side of that coin, there's palpable fatigue that comes with focusing an excessive amount of regarding how to actively avoid the herpes virus that may kill you or may curently have killed somebody. Constant worry and fear can be physically and emotionally draining, and can really push one over that (metaphorical) edge.

Winter Is Coming

So far, outdoor options have made this all seem bearable. My daily walks and gardening have been my saving graces. With the cooler weather, however, things will quickly move indoors within the Midwest and then leave fewer possibilities to get out. The unassuming evil that's daylight saving time also comes every fall and looms larger this season. Daylight not waste time messes with my mind and makes me hyperaware from the shorter days. The U.S. inaugurated the very first daylight saving day in 1918, as an attempt to conserve energy and daylight.

Every time we “fall back,” my mind seems to go a little bit haywire. External forces march on around me unwaveringly, while I try to cling to the heat and also the end from the summer. It's as if a little bit of my depression, anxiety, and worries get actualized right into a crisp autumn breeze. In the past, I possibly could attribute many of these feelings to college starting again and never attempting to leave home. But being an adult means you cannot blame your depression on school, so you concentrate on the next best thing-the weather.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Seasonal affective disorder, appropriately shortened to SAD, affects thousands of people yearly. People often experience SAD in places with fewer hours of daylight, as the insufficient warmth or sunlight often leads to feelings of hopelessness or discomfort.

Keeping abreast of this troublesome year continues to be challenging enough. Then, someone mentioned that daylight saving time begins in a few days, and that i remarked that this winter may bring some really hard circumstances for all those experiencing SAD. Not only will the down sides from the cold temperature settle in, however, many people won't be able to see their own families or family members for the holidays. Being isolated without family and without sunlight could be a scary hurdle to manage.

Looking Ahead

I have no idea how to tidy this up into one neat, clean package of an article. Truth be told, I am scared of exactly what the winter season would bring in terms of my mental health, herpes, and the state of the world. I'm fearful for all those I understand who also struggle with SAD, in addition to immunodeficiency. As the cold settles in, it is not easy to consider these things without getting consumed by overwhelming worry. I've yet to understand all there is to consider, but I am reminded of an untitled poem by Derek Walcott. It opens,

“The day, with all of its pain ahead, is yours.”

And a little later,

“These are all yours, / and pain makes them brighter as absence does / following a death, because the light heals the grass.”

May we hope for healing within the coming months, like a sign we have weathered and grown, regardless of the winter.