The Duct-Tape Ninja (ducttapeninja) wrote in thequestionclub,
The Duct-Tape Ninja

On the Topic of Seasonal Depression

It's getting to be that time of year where the miserable weather and cold decides to kick me in the ass with a hardcore case of Seasonal Affective Disorder; I have problems with depression and anxiety the rest of the year anyway, but January/February tends to be the worst with holiday social burnout and SAD piled on top of it all.

Last year, though, it was especially bad. I hadn't really made the connection between this time of year and SAD, and was going through some really tough shit at the same time, so when it happened I started experiencing serious suicidal thoughts and was starting to self-harm again. This went on for about a month before I started to actually acknowledge that there was a problem and went to see my doctor to get a referral for counseling/therapy.

I've been on a the waiting list to start therapy at a local clinic for... Eight months now, I think? And though I've called them a few times to check where I am on the waiting list, there doesn't seem to be any clear answer on when, exactly, I'll be starting treatment. The wait hasn't been a huge issue for me the last eight months anyway, as my life in general started to get better and I adopted a rescue-cat at the end of May as a sort of unofficial therapy pet, which has done wonders, so I personally wouldn't consider myself high-risk or a super urgent case or anything at the moment.

But when I think about how bad things got this time last year, I get nervous as I'm already starting to show the same symptoms again; I don't have as much of an appetite, I'm exhausted and apathetic all the time, the simplest tasks take way more effort than I want to dole out, I don't want to deal with people and I have a short temper, and all I want to do is curl up in bed and hide from the world. It helps that I actually recognize the issue this year and know that it's bad, as opposed to last year where I didn't and just rolled with it, but there's not much my doctor's really able to do for me at this point and I'm still waiting for the clinic to get back to me.

So here's what I'm asking: What do you guys do at home to help make it through seasonal depression (or depression in general)? Medication isn't really an option for me at the moment, but would vitamins help at all? Should I just curl up in bed with a good book and cuddle my cat for a while? What are your personal pick-me-ups when you're feeling like this?

Don't Know / Don't Care / Whatever: Could you recommend me some fantasy-genre books to read? I'm currently reading Peter S. Beagle's The Last Unicorn (again... for like the 12th time... It's my favorite story, admittedly) and am looking for something new to start when I'm done. Preferably I like things about dragons, unicorns, mermaids, things like that!
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