As If This Year Hasn’t Been Bad Enough!! … Along Comes the SAD

Carlene M. Dean
4 min readDec 16, 2020

“Winter blues” affects many people; here’s how to diagnose yourself

Photo by Francisco Gonzalez on Unsplash

Has your normally-active and fun sex drive seem to have fallen off lately, if not completely disappeared? Do you have less spring in your step these days? How about eating and sleeping: are you doing a LOT of either or both? Has your “get up and go just got up and went”? Do you feel like you want to shut out the world and never leave your home because people are all too annoying to deal with?

If you answer yes to some or all of these questions you may have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a depressive disorder which mostly occurs during the cold-weather months (though apparently some people get it in the warmer months), in the northern climates, and generally happens more in women than men. Its symptoms are pretty much the same as for depression/depressive disorder.

This information about SAD that I’m going to share comes from the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH). There are many resources available out there for information for those who want to learn more.

While I realize that all the questions listed above may be true for many people who are cooped up inside — and lacking much social contact — during this year of never-ending shutdowns due to COVID-19, these feelings in this case might only be temporary. SAD, however, lasts a long time … for some people many, many years.

As it happens, I too have SAD — along with GAD, ADD and a couple other what I call “alphabet soup” disorders. If memory serves, I’ve been suffering it since my family moved to the northern midwest U.S. state of Minnesota almost 40 years ago. I know this because of the very cynical-sounding poem I wrote in my teens:

“Oh, the snow outside is blowing, and inside I’m really freezing/ I can’t get warm for nothing/ And I can’t stop sneezing. The snow is piling up / And I’m pissy as Hell. Winter is definitely upon us/ As one can surely tell.”

(Not exactly the caliber of poems from the likes of Toni Morrison or Maya Angelou, but it is what it is.)

Now for the signs of depression — that also may be SAD — which I found on the NIMH website include: irritability (blowing up over little things)…

Carlene M. Dean

Experienced professional writer/freelancer and former newspaper reporter-turned-online writer/blogger. Thinker. “Old soul”, young hippie, empath.