Mood Bunker Series: Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D) earliest symptoms

by Lydia Gonzalez Otero

My landfall to the yearly season is a crawling trail which, in a very subtle and quiet way, saps my energy, tenacity and concentration into an isolated shelter greeted with cold and dark shadows.

The confluence with the Seasonal Affective Disorder has had a profound relief to the multiple concerns about my mental health for so many years… At last, I could label what was “wrong” with me, puzzled a set of symptoms, followed on reading available scientific research and understood that people stories behind their experiences and challenges were, in fact, an honest reflection to the ones I´ve always experienced. At that time, I felt an instant and deep ease and, at the same time, I couldn´t help thinking on how I was going to handle those coming months for the rest of my life.

All the findings and available means have helped me not only to learn about S.A.D. but also to understand its own singularity as what it really stands for; a peculiarity condition that switches the mindset, behaviours and energy into a different swing; one I did not like, I was uncomfortable with and I feared tremendously.

Even having the most relevant facts and professionally recommended outlines on how to address the season better, I was still living the fear preceding the season; focusing on the steep downfall to a place I didn´t want to go, a dark zone in which I wasn´t going to shine for a few months. I started to panic…

I couldn´t enjoy the previous months at my fullest potential and I was getting into the S.A.D mood earlier each year…a completely drastic approach to my condition must be used.

So, little by little, I started to centre my mind into what I was experiencing and observed that I was avoiding taking the responsibility on my mind and thoughts and letting my emotions overcome my reality. I gradually got more obsessive with my moods mutations and was not accepting that, in fact, those months were also a reflection of who I am.

Not without a challenging self-awareness pilgrimage, and some drops of courage, I´ve been able to accept that my journey to the season is still also an opportunity to enhance my wellbeing and close connection to nature, enjoying the road through the coming dark tunnel.

Keep up-to-date with Lydia’s Mood Bunker Series. Read her debut piece here!

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