I have always been affected by low light levels in the day, and especially in the afternoon. One time, a doctor even wanted to put me in the hospital for it, as it led to not only depression, but binge eating at the time. Summer was the same as winter or fall, what mattered most was the amount of light.
I also have suffered from Seasonal Affective Disorder depression. Once again, especially in the afternoon, but even in the morning my energy levels are very low. Yesterday I had my first SAD depression wash over me this season. The sky was very gloomy, and although it wasn’t cold, I sensed a change in the light.
I have used a “happy light” in the past, but never found it to be especially helpful. I am going to try that again, and be more consistent with it. However, getting outside is the best, even in the low light. If I can’t, I have to turn on EVERY light in the house, which requires a discussion with Mr. UT! He can sit in no light all day and not be affected. (He’s strange in many ways! LOL)
There is definitely a relationship between addiction, especially drinking and overeating, with SAD.
“Seasonal Affective Disorder and alcohol addiction are closely intertwined, each provoking the other. The symptoms which comprise SAD, such as hopelessness or stress, may lead to alcohol use and addiction as a result of self-medication. Individuals who are in recovery from alcohol abuse or addiction are at particular risk of relapse if they suffer from SAD.” You can read more here.
I know that my overall depression is way more manageable by not drinking. Mr. UT noted that last year, the low light didn’t seem to affect me as much. That is true, but I think it was mostly because we got outside a lot, even in very cold weather and snow.
By evening the feelings passed. Today was sunny, and I rode my bike to a friend’s patio, which was wonderful, but wore me out! We live on top of a very big hill, and I am a horrible hill bike rider! I either have to zip-zag my way all the way up, or walk!
I continue to be so grateful I live in a place where there is so much natural beauty close by.
With Mr. UT making dinner,
And me on the deck looking for sunsets to catch,
On Day 2170,