WARNING!: Introspective wankery ahead!
More mopey than normal before anyone who knows me makes a joke…
I’m only letting you know this because I may become slow(er) in answering emails, posts may ramble a bit and I may seem a bit distracted until…oh…let’s say April. I let you know because it shows that I have some form of Insight into my own personal brand of mental illness (which I’m sure will please the currently holidaying Mental Nurse – excellent read, reminds me of my short stint as a student nurse in the local rehab unit).
I first noticed this years symptoms a couple of days ago. I’ve just upgraded my phone to an SPV M5000 which is a lovely new bit of kit that replaces both my phone and my old Pocket PC. Wonderful, you might think, for I do so love my new technology toys. But unfortunately, I find myself upset over my old Pocket PC that will now be left on the shelf – unloved, and unwanted, despite many years faithful service*.
You tend to realise that there is something a bit wrong with you when you want to cry over a bit of machinery.
S.A.D. tends to affect me in a couple of ways. Firstly my sleep is, to put it bluntly, buggered. Last night I slept about 2 hours, the night before around 16 hours, before that I have no idea, but I seemed to wake up every half hour. This is seriously not good when you are a shift worker, especially one who is expected to drive ‘progressively’.
Besides altered sleep patterns, I also find myself lacking energy, both physical and mental. This is why I have emails from a week ago waiting to be answered, and why I can’t seem to be bothered to start any quests in World of Warcraft. (Yes… I realise that this is a screwed up way of measuring my own mental health). It might also explain why my blogposting has been a bit spotty over the past few days.
It also means that I get some mood swings, mainly towards the negative end of the scale. This I can deal with – I just wander off and have a sulk.
I’ll also find myself eating more, or less than normal, so my body weight/shape tends to wander all over the place. This, I can deal with, as I don’t really care if I start looking a little chubby. I am more anti-social during this time though, I’m not particularly interested in going out and seeing people, and the effort of getting ‘ready’ to go out often seems too much for me to handle.
It might also explain why I ‘blabbed’ my IRC password to everyone last night, by mistyping the command in the wrong box on screen. At least, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.
What is really stupid, is that my life is currently *excellent*. My work is great, I’m working with great people on something that is utterly brilliant, and I have few, if any, money worries. So the huge part of me that is pragmatic is telling me to get over it, and enjoy the good times. But it just seems that you can’t combat Bad Brain Chemistry.
The only thing that I can do about this lack of Serotonin washing around my brain, is to get myself out and about. I can’t afford a ‘lightbox’ (£150–£250 for a lightbulb!, and I haven’t got an hour each day to sit in front of it), and anti-depressants would take too long to start working, and that would be after spending the better part of a year to find a dosage that works for me. So I guess it’s cognitive therapy for me, essentially recognising that I’m mad and thinking my way around it.
Funnily enough one of the few things that provides me with any relief is work. I’m guessing that it’s the outside life that helps, with the increased amount of sunlight I get from working out on the road. I was laughing to myself the other day while slaloming through the traffic at the thought that I get paid to do this… To be honest it’s reason #1 why I left working as a nurse in windowless A&E departments to come out ‘on the road’, the thought that increased daylight might mitigate my symptoms somewhat.
Still, at least I have Spring to look forward to, when I spend six weeks being horny as hell, and then spend my Summer being sickeningly happy and positive about everything…
* Fear not! For my old Pocket PC will find a loving home in the hands of my mum, who will use it to play Solitaire, Mahjongg and Su Doku.