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#myPOV – From my point of view: Winterblues

myPOV WinterbluesThere are few times that I feel the need to search google for things in my emotional life. This year however I did. I googled ‘seasons change’, ‘tired’ and finally ‘depression’. I think the reason why I came back to writing on this blog is mostly, because I feel that I should not have been forced to google these things and be ashamed about it. Because yes, I am ashamed. If you have to google depression you’re either a hypochondriac looking for the next thing you could have or you are looking for an excuse why your problems are worse than everybody elses.

So I thought.

Turns out I am not the only one who feels like shit every year when the seasons change. Weather changes, days get shorter and the sun starts its winter holidays in other places of the world. Until this year I didn’t even know that what I have is considered something like a medical condition. I just thought I get tired and sad because every year around the same time I get sentimental when the sun is gone. Some call it winter blues, some call it seasonal affective disorder (SAD). I used to call it ‘grey sky sadness’. It means all the same.

For me this sadness expresses itself usually in being tired all the time, a lack of motivation and being sad and starting to cry for no apparent reason. This year however it hit me harder than usual. I have the urge to curl up under the blanket for days, can hardly motivate myself to do anything but to stare at the ceiling or into the clouds and it even goes so far, that I am wondering what relief dying must be.

Until I got over myself and searched for more information, I was convinced that I was simply an emotional little pussy, who would take her problems a bit to serious. I was telling myself that I should stop this nonsense and forced myself to push through. And usually I got through those hard days with distracting myself with work, university stuff and lots of tea. All of this was not possible this year. After spending a week on sunny Mallorca, my return to Berlin felt like falling into a endless sea of grey without sun. For the first time I realized, that what I felt inside could not have solely been caused by outside problems.

Since I am not someone to believe everything I read online – especially not when it comes to medical diagnoses – I turned to my doctor. I thought he would not take me seriously, because how could he, I wasn’t even taking myself all that serious. But no. After a short conversation and some admittetly intimiate questions, he gave me useful tipps on what I could do to feel better and recommended a few over the counter pills I should try. He took me seriously and that was when I realized that I should do the same.

 

I don’t think I am sick and I don’t talk about myself as a person with depression. But I admit that I don’t feel well and not my actions nor my failure are the reason for this. I stopped feeling bad for wanting to stay in bed and for not accepting invitations for social gatherings at the moment. I stopped feeling guilty for crying in the middle of the street. Some say acknowledgement is the first step in healing. And yes, I agree. It seems I am making progress. Slowly but it is there. I am not jumping around happy now but I am not stressed anymore about feeling the way I feel. I am trying to get outside of the house, work out as often as I can and give room for positive things to have an effect on me.

 

Many of the topics that were considered taboo until today are gaining attention in the media – at least in Germany. There is are personal blogs about about depression (look here) and even about dying (click here). My example however shows that there is still a need to talk about it even more. Not only about the big topics but also about the things that seem small at first but have a huge impact on a persons life.

 

Wenn du traurig bist, dich unmotiviert fühlst oder dich mit deinen Problemen alleine fühlst, vertrau dich jemandem an. Deiner Familie, Freunden, einem Arzt oder einer Hotline. Auch wenn du das nicht willst – aus welchem Grund auch immer. Du wirst feststellen, dass deine Gedanken und Gefühle ernst genommen werden – und das es danach leichter sein wird damit umzugehen. 

If you are sad, feel demotivated or stuck with you problems, talk to somebody. It can be your family, friends, a doctor or a hotline. Even if you don’t feel like doing it – for whatever reason. You will realize that your thoughts and feelings will be treated with respect and will be taken seriously – and that afterwards it will be easier to handle your feelings. 



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