Hello! Very glad to see there is a SAD community here on Livejournal :)
My name is Bri, I'm 20, and about four years ago was semi-officially diagnosed--- I say 'semi officially' because my therapist was treating me for a different thing, when she mentioned that she suspected SAD throughout our sessions. I have not been to a psychiatrist in those four years... but anyway.
I live in the wonderfully miserable Northwest (anyone else dread the winters/7 months of rain here??), and more specifically, in Ashland, OR. Ever since I've moved here, the Winters have been bad on my emotional and mental health. This year has been especially dark and crappy. It's nearly June now, and it's been miserable, gray, rainy and cold for over a solid week. Rather unfair after we hit 102 degrees the week before, do'cha think? Grr.
So the reason I joined was because I've never really talked to anyone about the dissorder, and it's just good to know that other people on ye olde interwebz can relate. My symptoms range, but are not debilitating. Or, I don't let them get that way, I suppose. On bad days, I pretty much have to force myself to do things, every little thing--- from actually pushing my toes on the pedal to get gas in the pipes of the car--- everything is a friggin' effort and a half. My mood is just lame overall on bad days; I feel antisocial, and yet I'd love it if The Boy would somehow magically get mindreading powers to sense that I need to be held (of course, rationally I know that he's not gonna know unless I tell him with my mouth), so being antisocial and yet needing just a little is frustrating. I usually just hole up in my cave of a room when I'm feeling that glum. I'd describe the feeling on the dark, rainy, gray days as being 'pitiful'. Over-sensative, pissed off, grouchy, miserble, a little hopeless--- all that fun junk! And so to spare my SO, I usually just get reclusive. I don't know, does that make it better or worse, relationship wise? (I'm new at this relationship thing and wasn't suffering SAD symptoms when we first got together). I know that this is not a relationship counseling community, but any advice on how to deal with SAD stuff in a relationship would be nifty.
I'm also a fine arts major, so my inspiration, motivation, and creativity are affected by the darker days. I still am able to produce and maintain a great GPA and everything, but the effort is exhausting. I notice that the exhaustion is never there when the weather changes. Alas, here in Ashland, school for us is October-June... so basically, all seven months of rain and snow and overcast. Wonderful. I also work as a cashier at a local organic food co-operative, and lemme tell you, it is brutally hard to be nice to people when I'm going through the SAD fun. My focus goes down and I leterally turn into a groceries-scanning, money-handling zombie for eight hours. It's aweful.
I recently started the Depo-Provera shot for girly issues. I read that this can make depression worse. I'll readily admit that this has been the hardest year as far as SAD symptoms go, but I felt that happening before I got on 'the shot', so I'm unsure if this has made it worse (has anyone else had experince with this?). I don't take any other meds. I do, however, take melatonin before bed because of insomnia, which may or may not be SAD-related. I've always had a weird circadian rhythem. But melatonin knocks me right out within an hour and a half, and it's all natural.
So... I'm really looking forward to seeing the sun once more (whenever -that- happens...) and hope that you all are nice and warm and sunny already!