My Annual Seasonal Affective Disorder Got… Weird

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 6.03% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

So I have Seasonal Affective Disorder every spring.  I endure about three to five weeks of terrible, crushing depression, and in fact as a boy I had two suicide attempts during the June time period and was halfway to a third before finally realizing hey, I feel this way every damn year, maybe it’s the chemicals.
So spring is kinda brutal.  (And yes, most people have SAD in the fall, autumn is not an ironclad rule of depression, there is zero need to mention how other people have depression to me in this circumstance since I have it in the spring.)
And I didn’t have it last year – but, as I noted, I’d just had a triple bypass four months back.  So as I theorized then, it could be the new diet and exercise, it could be the super-supplement of Vitamin D the doctor had put me on as he noted my levels were low, or it could be that I’d had major fucking surgery and my body was sufficiently jangled by the trauma that it just sort of skipped all the normal procedures.
I wondered whether I’d get it this year.  And then it hit me on Friday.  Hard.
I knew it immediately, because I’d started crying out of nowhere, feeling absolutely worthless, despite the fact that I’d just had a very good annual salary review and plans for a fun weekend.  I knew this flavor.  This depression was distinctly chemical.
And I buckled down, ready for the next four weeks, feeling exhausted already, and…
…it vanished.
Just went away on Saturday. I kept checking all weekend, but the SAD literally consumed just a single evening.
That’s when Gini noted that I’d forgotten to take my pills on Thursday.
And there’s a scary thing: it may well be that 10k milligrams of Vitamin D are all that stands between me and crushing depression right now.  It’s always hard to diagnose these things, but my exercise has been low, my body’s back, and one pill and I was back to normal.  It had never occurred to me that it might be Vitamin D, as I drink approximately a cow’s worth of milk a week and take a generic vitamin supplement, but…
…it looks like, until I hear otherwise, that taking a small yellow gelcap once a week is the key to keeping my brainmeats functioning.  And I can’t skip a day, or havoc arises.
That’s a little scary, but it’s better than enduring the depression.

10 Comments

  1. Beth
    May 12, 2014

    Huh, this was interesting to me because of my own path of managing depression. I actually tend to be more prone to depression in the summer, but I’ve never thought of it as SAD before because it wasn’t happening in the winter. Just hearing this gives me something to talk to my doctors about, so thank you.
    And it can be scary when something as seemingly inconsequential as a little pill or a trip to the gym or something is all that’s standing between you and that dark chasm of scary thoughts. I hope you continue to have good days.

  2. Leslie
    May 12, 2014

    Interesting! Thank you for sharing this. I have suffered from Dysthymia for years. I also take Vitamin D (though not as much as you – I think I might ask my doctor about upping my dose), and I find it does help me, especially when my SAD shows up in the winter.
    I’m glad your SAD only lasted for one day. Be well!

  3. Carmel J.
    May 12, 2014

    I second the other comment- I only heard about D helping with SAD at the end of this hellish winter, and wondered if the amount in my calcium supplement was enough. I think I will be investigating this further. Thank you for sharing, I am so glad it worked for you this year!

  4. Charity Froggenhall
    May 12, 2014

    Well, that’s pretty fucking awesome! Glad to hear it!
    This website Labdoor (https://labdoor.com/rankings/vitamin-d) ranks supplements on effectiveness and cost value, so it’s a great resource before shopping for Vitamin D.

  5. sadie
    May 14, 2014

    Vitamin D deficiency is no joke. I had depression and widespread joint and muscle pain. A rheumatologist put me on a prescription-strength does of vitamin D (I was already taking 2,000 IU/day, but was still deficient), and it all disappeared within 36 hours. I had been in constant pain for months. MONTHS!

  6. John D. Bell
    May 18, 2014

    In your shoes, I would be glad that a ‘natural’ drug/suppliment like Vitamin D corrects your issues; man-made psychotropic drugs can be a very scary business.

  7. Dave
    May 28, 2014

    I never made the connection before, but thank you so much for posting this. I’ve been working in a windowless facility where I can go the entire day without seeing the sun. I’ve been incredibly depressed – on the verge of tears for no reason – except on weekends, which I chalked up to just hating my office. But, I also bike, run and do other outdoors stuff almost all day on weekends. So I’ve been trying OTC vitamin D for the last couple weeks and it’s made a huge improvement. Maybe it’s just a placebo effect, but I’m going to stick with the vitamins and see how it goes.

  8. Daniel
    Mar 3, 2016

    This is absolutely correct. Low levels of vitamin D can actually cause depression. If you rarely go out for a walk and sunshine, it is recommended for you to take vitamin D, just make sure you don’t go over 4000 iu per day as recommended. I hope your SAD goes away for good. Keep us posted and thanks for sharing.

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