Not Seasonal, Just Depression

The more experience I’ve gained on my mental health journey, the better I’ve gotten at recognizing my depression and the reasons behind it. That being said, depression can still be tricky. There are times where I feel like I know exactly why I feel depressed; other times, it’s like a feeling or emotion comes out of nowhere. The wintertime is actually one of the trickiest times to recognize my feelings. Is it just a time of seasonal sadness, or is it something I need to look into further?

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Winter is Here

Every single year, it’s the same old story: winter is coming, coming, coming…then it gets here. And we get sad. Growing up on the East Coast (and still living there today), I’m used to the familiar patterns of the seasons. I enjoy being able to experience all four seasons every single year (though autumn is often too short). But for some reason, every year I am shocked at how hard it is to adjust when winter hits. I get sad, angry, annoyed and frustrated at the challenges winter brings. So, what can we do about it?

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Digging Into the Mental Health Toolkit

I’ve written about my dislike for wintertime before, but a new thought popped into my head as to why this time of year isn’t great for me. We know about seasonal affective disorder, shorter days and colder nights and all that, but there’s another big reason that I don’t love this time of year. I have several activities and hobbies that I do that relieve/help me manage my mental health challenges, and the winter is one of the most challenging times because it limits what I can do.

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It’s Okay If the Weather Impacts Your Mental Health

One thing that I’ve always known is that my writing can be…lengthy. That’s the case everywhere for me when it comes to my work, but it’s especially true for this blog. Oftentimes, I’ve written entire posts where I’ve realized that it took me 500 words to get to the point, or worse – that I never actually made the point I was trying to make! Well, not today. I want to be as clear and as blunt as I can be when I say that the weather is straight-up rude to our mental health. Sometimes it impacts it in a negative way, and it’s alright to admit that. Here’s how I know.

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What The Weather Does for My Mental Health

Out of the four seasons I experience where I live, it’s safe to say that winter is my least favorite of all. That’s not to say I dislike it – on the contrary, I enjoy most aspects of what winter brings. I have fond memories of holiday seasons, being a homebody during the cold nights and enjoying a little snow every now and then. But some of the things that make winter an enjoyable time are the same things that make it extremely difficult to manage my anxiety and depression. And while the other three seasons offer brief respites at the very least, winter often feels like a never-ending set of blistery days and frigid nights. It’s a challenge, but every winter I learn something new about how my mental illness functions – and today I’d like to share what I’ve learned this winter.

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Making Our Way Through the Holidays

This is the third December that My Brain’s Not Broken has been around, so we’re now at the third time I get to write about mental health around the holidays. The first year I wrote about how mental health does not take time off for the holidays, even if you do. Last year I focused on using that quality time with friends and family to check in and see how your people are doing. Since I don’t want to get repetitive, I’d like to take a different direction, about the anxiety the holidays can bring and what you can about it.

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We’re Heading Into Winter

So it’s October! While September is a little less in your face about it being fall, by the time we reach October people are pretty much in full-on Jack Skellington mode or sending Dwight Schrute’s pumpkin head to their friends. But for me, October can signal a lot of changes – the most important one being that summer is over, and this year it’s especially important to me.

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