Seasonal Affective Disorder (Again)

JULY

Another call, oh well. Never mind, it's a nice day and it's better than being cooped up in an office. Let's get there while waving at the small children who wave at blue lighting ambulances. Hmmm, one of our regulars drunk in the street – still it gives me faith in humanity to know that someone on a bus driving past was concerned enough about their fellow man to call an a ambulance. Let's get him up. Hello Fred, another trip to the hospital? I wonder what drove him to drink, I wonder why he keeps losing hostel places. Its a shame really, wasted lives and all that. Why can't we provide a decent detox programme, I'm sure if we spent the money on him it'd save the NHS in the long run. Oh well, easy enough job – walk on, walk off, no hassle. Time for our next job.

NOVEMBER

A call? Bet it's some bastard pissed in the street. And why is no wanker getting out the way of our ambulance – can't you see big yellow ambulances with blue flashing lights you twat? Oh great, it's Fred, yet another pisshead. Some 'good Samaritan' who didn't actually want to stop to see if the obvious homeless guy is alright. Suppose they'll feel like a hero now calling us out to this waste of space. Blimey, he smells worse than usual – has he been rolling in his own piss? How weak willed do you have to be to get like this – the bottle is never a god idea for solving problems. I bet he gets thrown out of hostels because he takes a dump in their corridors, just like he did to my ambulance yesterday. Pull him up and throw him on the back, off to the hospital while we wait for him to die. Then we et to do it all again once the hospital discharges him.


The trick, of course, is to remain the professional while these different thoughts are rattling around in your head. It gets a bit hard in winter. Actually the hardest part is dragging yourself out of bed to go into work, knowing that these are the sorts of people you'll be spending most of your time with.

It can be awkward trying to hide your feelings when all you want to do is curl up in a corner and sleep.

10 thoughts on “Seasonal Affective Disorder (Again)”

  1. To all the people who suggest St Johns Wort, I've tried it in the past and (like major tranquillisers) has next to no effect on me. I do try the lightbox, although I'm not sure if that has much of an effect on me.Perhaps I should just self administer ECT – that's supposed to work pretty well.

  2. You have my utmost sympathy. I could easily hibernate from now until about May. Hedgehogs have the right idea, a big warm box to snuggle down in- I could give or take the saucer of milk and the bowl of cat meat though…

  3. I occasionally suffer from episodes of SAD, however around this time last year I was at work with a wonderful paramedic (who had been doing the job for about 40 years, but has sadly had to retire since through ill health) who sat in the front of the truck, staring out of the window as it started to get dark, and said “What's the date?”. I told him, and he mumbled to himself and counted on his fingers for a few seconds then brightly announced “Oh good. The nights start to draw out again in about eight weeks!”. It really changed my way of thinking: I now concentrate on how short a time it is until things get better, rather than on the crappy bit in between.I can recommend St John's Wort as well. I was diagnosed with mild “black dog syndrome” earlier this year, and my wife bought some and persuaded me to take it as a vitamin supplement. It wasn't until I (very quickly) felt more cheerful and MUCH more able to cope with life that I looked the stuff up and found out that it's an antidepressant. No placebo effect there!

  4. Good job of trying to explain the difference in outlook. I've tried to tell people how it feels, but never get beyond incomprehension.The hard part is getting people to notice that brain chemistry can change important parts of who you are. It's true for everybody, but it's not very comforting, and if they don't want to get that, they can't get any of it.

    At which point comes the inevitable comment, “Yes, but I still don't see why you can't just pull yourself together.”

    And then the inevitable answer, “Aaaaargh.”

  5. My SAD starts in September…that's when students flood back into Boston. That means additional traffic and also students who think that roads are for walking and won't get the fuck out of the way.But I actually like the cooler weather…so that clears up some around now.

  6. Seconded on the St J's. Felt the blues coming on in September and started taking it then. To date, no Black Dog, no grinding fatigue and NO side effects. It's well worth a go but get the nod from your GP first to be on the safe side.

  7. Mine's just starting to kick in. Back in Blighty it was mid-September to April, but living further south it's shorter. I tried the light box – gave me migraine – no ,not a bad headache – nausea, loss of balance and several mad axemen chopping at my head. However panto rehearsals have just kicked in too, so spending every weekend lmao keeps the endorphin/seratonin/adrenaline levels higher than they otherwise would be. Mind you according to the 'family' I'm just a lazy twunt.Tom – don't!

  8. LOL! I now have a mental image of you with defib paddles held to your head yelling 'clear!'.Sorry SJW's not for you. It's one of those things that if it works it works really well and I'll continue to recommend people at least give it a go. Guess I'm just lucky it works for me. On the other hand I also don't work shifts or come into daily contact with the sordid underbelly of humanity so it's probably easier for me to find a bright side :/

  9. Just a comment on the St. J. While it may work really well I think it can adversely affect some other medicines, the one I know about being anti contraceptive pills! All you medicine-related-job types will no doubt know more about this than me, so if my information is out of date or just plain wrong, please let me know!Totally identify with you on the SAD Tom, sometimes I wonder why I'm feeling so annoyed with stuff, then I catch another glimpse of the rain coming down in sheets from the grey sky and remember exactly why!

  10. Hi, I've been reading your blog for a month now, and working my way back through your archives. It's very interesting. Further, as a (dreaded) English teacher, although American–how can that be?–it's been fun watching the growth and changes in your writing. On the topic that brought me to posting. SAD is a problem for me as well. In Southern California, it's not the weather, although, quelle horreur, we had 15 days of rain in a row one year!!! 😉 , it's the fatigue that sets in and increases and brings about the same anger, that we also have to sublimate to professionalism. Once having pushed the anger under, I have a fair amount of fun and enjoy my students, but sometimes I just want to YELL at them and let my inner human out. I hope you follow this since I didn't let the inner grammarian out of the bag. I LOVE London. If I could live there, I would. You have such a loving heart for your patients, talking to them and holding their hands. Take care of yourself, ace!

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