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S100
#21 Posted : 17 February 2016 09:39:51(UTC)
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Hi Debbie, I was just a few years older than you in '76 but I remember at that age it took more than some wet weather to dampen our spirits!

At this time of year I am watching the forecast carefully and planning my activities to take advantage of any sunny days that come along. They certainly give me quite a boost. I'm starting to feel like I am coming out of hibernation. I suppose that's why Valentine's day is when it is!

Talking of holidays, it's not too early to be thinking about next autumn / winter - a good dose of sunshine and warm weather can have a really profound effect that time of year. I hope you can negotiate something better than the Isle of Wight next time ;-) I'll take Madeira or the Canaries, they don't cost much off-season and they are very low hassle to get to as there are still plenty of direct flights.

Mind you, if we don't have a better summer this time round, I might not come back!
wooltonian
#22 Posted : 20 February 2016 14:09:06(UTC)
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Frustrated. This week my afternoons have been split between visiting my mum in hospital and driving back from long-distance deliveries in atrocious weather under slate-grey skies. Either way I have not been getting any afternoon light for five days on the trot. I know exactly what will happen under these conditions -- I wake up at 3.00am 'all guns blazing' and can't get back to sleep. After a night of insomnia my brain is totally frazzled, I bump into things, drop things, can't remember anything, feel in a grumpy mood and start nodding off at 8.30pm. A mere whiff of wine sends me into a virtual coma!

The thing that so frustrates me is that I can predict all this happening, but there is nothing....zero....zilch I can do about it! Hospitals are gloomy places as is the M62 on Saddleworth Moor with the rain lashing down and the van being blown off course by a howling gale. It's one thing to realise you suffer from SAD and put all sorts of coping mechanisms in place to live something close to a normal life, but if circumstances prevent you from doing the things that help (i.e. using my light box) then you're back to square one. Like I say....sooooo frustrating! I can almost predict the precise minute I will wake up in the middle of the night. I wonder if there's anything good on telly at 4.00am!
Linda
#23 Posted : 21 February 2016 16:23:25(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: wooltonian Go to Quoted Post
After a night of insomnia my brain is totally frazzled, I bump into things, drop things, can't remember anything, feel in a grumpy mood and start nodding off at 8.30pm.

Why, oh why does this sound so familiar?! I had to laugh - it's me to a T at the moment. It's actually quite reassuring to find it's not only me. I am really struggling as the winter grinds endlessly on, and have just hit a low patch where the whole thing feels like a trek through ankle-deep mud, and all sorts of things are happening that are causing me extra stress.

I'm really hoping this isn't going to spiral out of control this time. I'm finding it harder to answer the door and deal with people these days, I can't interact in the same way, I don't feel as though I am behaving normally, and my anxiety is going sky-high. As for concentration - what is that again? I often don't even trust myself to drive. And I can't remember the last time I had a good night. My waking hours during the night are so frequent that I do most of my reading then. I really need a serious recharge.

Madeira or the Canaries sounds just about right. Any spare space, S100? What a shame I can't book a holiday just now.

Edited by user 21 February 2016 16:24:26(UTC)  | Reason: dyslexic fingers!

Equinox
#24 Posted : 21 February 2016 17:08:26(UTC)
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Thank you for the warm welcome everyone! Thought everything was going better the last week or so, it's been nice and bright, getting out for some lunchtime sun. Haven't been using my light box so much, and a few really grey days and am suffering the consequences! Anxiety has risen awfully and can feel myself withdrawing from everything, falling asleep very early and finding walking up really hard (well, harder than usual!). At least I know what is happening and that it won't last forever. Back to using the light box again me thinks. At least it is 5pm and not pitch black outside, light days have to arrive sooner or later!

Edit: typically, just after the sun went down, the clouds cleared leaving a nice clear sky. If only it had been an hour or so earlier, it would have been lovely and light!

Edited by user 21 February 2016 18:25:34(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

S100
#25 Posted : 23 February 2016 19:44:50(UTC)
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Linda, I could certainly do with a second winter holiday, since we seem to be having a second winter! I have to admit there is plenty light in Aberdeen now but it is just a bit cold for venturing outside. Will save my pennies for an easyJet ticket to one of those sunny islands when I need it the most - next November or December. I like to book by summer so I have something to look forward to.

Wooltonian, sleeplessness is horrible, I know. My worst experiences have been when I was upset about something, drank too much before bed, then woke up in the early hours worrying again except now with a headache. That pretty much guarantees I'll feel utterly drained the next day. My best approach (when I'm sensible enough) is to write down all the stuff that's bothering me an hour or two before bed then watch a TV programme or read a book, something good enough to distract me.

I read that the brain is not resting when it is dreaming, so even if you are asleep, it is not necessarily restorative. That's hardly a cheering piece of information but it is useful to know if you're aware you are dreaming a lot and wondering why you're tired the next morning. Something to do with the brain churning over unresolved problems, I believe. Perhaps that's why the old-fashioned bed-time story is a good idea!






wooltonian
#26 Posted : 25 February 2016 10:59:42(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Linda Go to Quoted Post

Why, oh why does this sound so familiar?! I had to laugh - it's me to a T at the moment.


Another shabby night's sleep! Already today I have stabbed myself in the finger doing the washing up, fallen over my shoes trying to answer the phone and spent ten minutes writing a two line email. Grrrr....

One thing I have to be a bit careful about is not taking too many supplements. I have a feeling that too many B vitamins make me dream too much -- especially in the second half of the night -- and I wake up feeling tired and ratty. Similarly magnesium. I know magnesium is supposed to help with insomnia, but if I take too much too late in the day it makes my brain tick all night.

Getting a good night's sleep is such a minefield!



Hadrian
#27 Posted : 25 February 2016 16:29:10(UTC)
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Hello everyone - sorry its been so long since I posted anything but I've deliberately stayed away from online forums as at times my anxiety was so bad that reading anything remotely negative was '' setting me off''

I was very interested to read in an earlier post about 2015 being a particularly bad year for light. That makes a lot of sense to me - as this year has been one of my worst ever - so bad that even my trusty light box didn't seem to have much effect.!

It was mid October when my symptoms really kicked in -Craving carbohydrates ( crisps and bread!!) terrible and irrational anxiety , feeling guilt ridden and worthless with disturbed sleep. After being medication free for 3 years I went back on Fluoxetine - but the side effects of increased anxiety were just too much for me - so I switched to Citalopram 10 mg which has been much more gentle and I've seen a slow but gradual improvement in my symptoms.

I tried counselling/ therapy out of desperation during my bad reaction to fluoexetine and found it of some use but at the end of the day I have a physical condition which needs physical and not psychological help.

I've started doing Yoga - there is research that suggests that Yoga exercises reduce the areas in the brain which control anxiety and depression - so i joined a local class 5 weeks ago and have definitely felt an improvement.
I'm also tangibly cheered up by the lighter nights and mornings and feel that the corner has almost been turned!!
I've also took up the hobby of nature photography - which gets me out and about and is a good distraction from my crazy , SAD induced thoughts!
Linda
#28 Posted : 27 February 2016 14:07:45(UTC)
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Hadrian, it's good to hear from you. I do understand what you mean about negative things setting you off. Anxiety is so terribly hard to handle. It's interesting to read, too, that your light box has seemed to be less effective this time, as mine has also. It might only be one of the tools for modifying SAD, but I think it's the combination of them all that is important, rather than any one specifically, and I would rather not be without even one of them!

Interesting that you've tried both Citalopram and Fluoxetine and settled with the former. I did use it for a couple of years, but found Fluoxetine better for me.

It sounds as though the yoga is especially effective for you and has improved your mood and anxiety, together with more daylight. However, the lighter mornings are not really helping me as I sleep so badly that I rarely see them! I try to just accept these days that I'm going to be awake for several hours during the night - whatever I do - and just make up for the lost hours when I can. I suppose it's reinforcing a not-very-helpful pattern of sleep (or non-sleep) but we have to go with what works. These days I do most of my reading during the wee small hours!

My "corner" is still a wee way off (beginning of April) although there are at least occasionally better days, especially when we get that strange bright light in the sky. (What's it called again?) But even then, am I the only SADdie to find my concentration lagging behind?
wooltonian
#29 Posted : 20 November 2016 19:40:14(UTC)
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How is everyone, by the way?

Me? Since the clocks went back sleep is very patchy. I tend to wake up at 3.30am. On a good night I have another 2-3 hours sleep...eventually. On a bad night I might get another hour. I am gradually getting used to receiving my vitamin D through supplements rather than sunlight. It takes about a month. November is a difficult month though. It gets a bit easier as the winter goes on. I think I just get used to it!

Edited by user 20 November 2016 19:54:01(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Linda
#30 Posted : 24 November 2016 12:20:45(UTC)
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Good to hear from you, Wooltonian. Yes, the switch to GMT has made a big difference, hasn't it? My mood is now more fragile, and mood swings rule, even though I've ramped up the fluoxetine to my winter level. I'm currently having CBT, and it has thrown up some useful stuff, although not sure how much it will help in the longer term.

Sleep is iffy, and I'm back to my usual trick of doing most of my reading in the wee small hours. I'm also being plagued by migraines far more than usual, which I think is probably more attributable to stress than anything else. I'm investigating daith piercing, salt lamps and beta-blockers in an effort to alleviate them, and not sure yet which way to go. Any germs of wisdom hugely appreciated!

I agree that November is usually a rocky month - although surprised you find that winter gets a bit easier as it goes on. I actually find exactly the opposite! (:
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