ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

"Depression Fog"... © Rolly A. Chabot

Updated on November 5, 2014
Source

Welcome Hugs

So this is life in Alberta... so you say. This morning I awoke to a nasty looking white blanket of snow covering everything in sight. It has been coming the past several days. For those who live in the snow belt you know the signs. Temperatures falling, a tease of warmer days only to find the next is cold and wet with rain, then this.

We have come onto the season again where the Fireside is open. Writing here seems to traditionally fall upon the winter months, thus this intrusion again into your lives. Allow the apologies in advance for hiding all these months, but then I have several excuses...lol.

Summer months are busy with all the yard work and of course there is the old stand by, standing in the rivers in the region fly fishing. It is the place where a man can clear his thoughts and only await the snap of the line with the promise of the big one taking his offering. As a full time novelist, it is the place where stories are born. The cadence of the fly casting are perfected and the love of the great outdoors are tucked away for the long winter months ahead. It has been a fruitful year and the hidden cabin along the Clearwater River becomes a writing refuge for me. I will be spending 10 days out there again starting next week.

So gather around, get comfortable, snuggle in close. If you are new here, well we all welcome you. This is a safe place and a place filled with love, any of you who have been here before, please help the new guests along. Say hello, help yourself to the offerings, coffee, hot chocolate and tea are on the table. Welcome to the Fireside and please make yourself at home... Know above all else that you are loved.

Source

Seasons

We all have them, no matter where we live. They come and they go and will always return as long as we are around. Along with the seasons we do have moods which change, the change can be subtle or they can be drastic. For those of us who live in the regions where they are drastic such as the Canadian winters they can have unexplained health issues. Mainly in the way we relate to ourselves and others. They can vary in most people but I think they can all fall into the category of mild to severe depression.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is very serious and will zap the life from you if allowed to continue to have a place to occupy itself in your life. Many years ago I lived in a part of northern Canada called the land of the midnight sun. Here the sun would only duck behind the horizon for as little as an hour. June 21st was the equinox where it never left the sky. It was the time of year where you could work, fish, hunt or camp basically 24 hours a day. To begin with it was difficult adjusting sleep patterns and living a life with some semblance of being normal. I did love the summer months there in the far north as they afforded me more time than I knew what to do with.

Then came the long hours of winter months where at the peek equinox the sun would not appear until 10 am and disappear by 2 pm. Living beside the Yukon River brought another phenomena called Ice Fog. So thick you had to depend on your senses as to where you were. With no bearing to reference it would leave with a sense of insecurity. It would last for up too 7 months of the year along with temperatures that would often dip down to 50 below for weeks on end. Once I experienced an unheard of temperature of -72 below. It is here where the only thing that matters is keeping the fires going and being certain you have all the food and supplies you need in the cabin. Ropes ran from the cabin to the cache, the wood pile and outhouse and back again, so as to never lose your way.

The first year I experienced Seasonal Affective Disorder was devastating and I could not for the life of me figure out why I was in such a funk. That was far before the time of the intranet and sadly far before I was willing to share with anyone the way I was feeling. It was something I had never experienced before for long periods of time. I became the proverbial human bear and just hibernated and the depression which attached to it grew a terrible root inside of my otherwise positive spirit. It became a curse that first winter. Cabin Fever was born within me and I had nowhere to hide but under the covers.

Source

Sharing Is Key

The second year I experienced it again, my stubborn self explained what I was feeling to a doctor friend I will call Dr. Don. A medical doctor but one who was holistic as he looked at the whole person. We were sitting in my cabin sharing a coffee when Don asked me what was the matter. I immediately told him nothing and he laughed, I was offended and the next day I saw him in his office. He gave me a pack of needles and a bottle of B-12 with instructions of taking a dose every week, along with some vitamin D. His final words were, "Get out while the sun shines and do something, you need sun man, all you can get."

That was the first winter I began to feel more like myself. He also gave me a book on the subject of S.A.D (Seasonal Affective Disorder) which I found must have been written for me. It is real and if left untreated can cause a severe and devastating pattern in life.

You do not have to live in the wilderness of Canada to suffer from it. In all likelihood you will find it lurking right at your back door. If you find yourself feeling low or off in the least way I suggest you read this article from the Mayo Clinic, be sure and click on the section "Symptoms."

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/basics/definition/con-20021047

There are many different ways to treat S.A.D. but basically they all start with recognizing the signs and dealing with them as they occur. Talk to a friend, share what you are feeling. Keep a journal of what you are experiencing and the change of the seasons, barometric pressure changes effect us dramatically. You will find they are all intertwined, once understood they will become a part of your past as you seek new ways to ward off the dreaded winter blues, as they are also called.

Keep in mind there has been a tendency for Joe Q public to attach a label or stigma on depression. The sad part of it is these are the same people who wear their masks out in public and bury the fact they have it as well. I think we all need to look deep inside and realize we all suffer in various degrees with it.

My simple diagnosis as a lay person without any credentials is to ask, "What is it that feeds depression?" For me it was the negative in life, it can be all demanding of us to stay positive, it is something we have to work at. S.A.D. is real. Once it is understood it is easier to accept. The need to get out, speak to people and search out some sunshine and find the positives are the best cures we can find for our own healing... Hugs to all and thanks for sitting by the Fireside...


S.A.D Video

Have you experienced SAD

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I can relate. I am full of energy when summer arrives, but when winter is approaching ( Which is now ) I lose some of that energy. I have always felt this way, so I deal with it. Writing is a wonderful pastime until spring returns. Enjoyed your article. Take care..

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Any of us who live in the northern latitudes can relate, Rolly. The worst, for me, was the year in Alaska. I thought that winter would never end, and I was alone, and miserable. Beautiful message here and one thousands should read.

      blessings from rainy Olympia

      bill

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Wonderful article to share with us. I get it and it is all I can do to just hang on and get through it. I do all the things you suggested and I remain functional but not normal. Thank you for spreading the word on this important issue.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      The years I spent living in Kauai, Hi. were stunning for me. Continuous sunshine, warm Kona winds and even warm rainfall coupled with endless beauty cured my S.A.D. And the constant aloha and hugging was the whipped cream on the cake, so to speak.

      You've written a hub so many of us can relate to Rolly. Thank you and sharing.

      Beautiful thoughts -

      Audrey

    • Availiasvision profile image

      Jennifer Arnett 2 years ago from California

      One of the hardest parts of winter is not being able to do the outdoor activities you enjoy. I've found that I have to be more creative with my outdoor pursuits. Instead of running, there's snowshoeing and ice climbing. I don't live above snowline, but I've learned to change up my outdoor activities with the seasons.

      I get a little blue from about Oct to March. I hate watching the days get darker and the nights get colder. I live in Northern California and our winters are nothing like your--just rainy and cold. I know I was much happier when I lived in sunny southern California and could enjoy the beach almost year round. I'm a dive/surf bum at heart and miss the sunshine. Maybe, like Audrey, I should spend some time in Hawaii.

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 2 years ago from Florida

      Hi,

      This article has opened by eyes to watching out for S.A.D., because in the winter months if I am ever still enough to become blue---then I will remember this hub.

      I am sorry you went through this without help the first time. We all need to think about sharing more with friends and family--- I suppose. I never complain unless I have a migraine.

      I hope all is well with you today and have a great week. And, stay warm and well.

      Bobbi Purvis

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I don't think I have ever suffered from this but when I did live further north I did have "something" when I could not get out. I mean I didn't want to get out in the bad weather and terrible roads but knowing I couldn't caused me strange anxiety! I suppose it has a name; lol but now I live in the south is it rare to have anything bad and that would probably only be for a few hours not even a whole day! Colder weather just means cooking lots of comfort food which I love to do.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      This is interesting, Rolly. We don't often realize how the seasons affect us. I can't imagine living in an area where the sun never sets. My body and mind would be thoroughly confused. I feel fortunate to live in Florida where our winters are not extreme. It does get cold - colder than I like - but not so cold that we're forced to stay indoors.

      Great information, Rolly!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a very important hub, Rolly. Thank you for sharing your experiences. They should help many people.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image
      Author

      Rolly A Chabot 2 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Always... I think all of us feel what you are explaining, the lack of energy and an inner restlessness we can not explain. Getting out and doing some sort of winter activity is the key and staying in touch with people is rewarding.

      Hugs and Blessings

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      I think anyone with a real winter experiences S.A.D. To some degree. Like you, we often call it a "funk", just can't seem to get interested in anything.

      While this is an evergreen hub it is especially important and pertinent with winter coming on. Your fireside chats are always warming. Hugs back to you.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Just happened upon this one. I see there are others i missed too. I've not been getting any notifications for you and a half dozen other people. HP really messed up, but glad i found you again!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      The B-complex vitamins and vitamin D are required to sustain an appropriate life. The sun gives us vitamins D and it really is a necessity to get our there and take our share of it.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image
      Author

      Rolly A Chabot 2 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Bill... yes I thought you would understand after your experience in the north. think it important for people all over the globe to be aware of the environment they are in. Seasons change and so do our bodies... we simple need to listen to what they are telling us.

      Hugs my friend

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image
      Author

      Rolly A Chabot 2 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Eric... sorry for the delay in getting back to this, life takes over... smiles... The more I look at this subject the more I come to realize it is a greater issue which effects many people. I hope each of us can find a way to cope. In Canada we do have some long winters and come spring that first few days of warmth and sunlight certainly bring people outside again.

      Blessings from Alberta

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image
      Author

      Rolly A Chabot 2 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Audrey... thank you for sharing and indeed the atmosphere you were in would cure anything, indeed you were blessed as I look out my window this morning. Snow, blowing snow and darkness.... lol... back to the Fireside after popping a few Vitamin D...

      Hugs and Blessings

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image
      Author

      Rolly A Chabot 2 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Availiasvision... It sounds like you have adapted well to the environment or place you find yourself. I have found one constant in my life, and listening to others is attitude. No matter where people find themselves they adapt as best they can. Great comment and thank you for joining in.

      Hugs from Canada

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image
      Author

      Rolly A Chabot 2 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Jackie... always love to see you visit and warm the Fireside with your smiles. You were perceptive spotting the off times back when you lived north. They are there for certain... I smile when I think of you cooking comfort food, just a thought bt you know the Fireside could always use a snack...

      Blessings, love and hugs from the cold

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image
      Author

      Rolly A Chabot 2 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi PurvisBobbi44... sorry for the delay in getting back to you, the Christmas rush and all the gatherings sometimes are overwhelming, but alas I think it time to rest again.

      SAD is very real and it is called a seasonal disorder for a reason. Although it is primarily found in the winter months, studies have shown it to be prevalent in all seasons depending on what the individual has experienced at that time. Examples may be death of a loved one, a life changing illness etc.

      There are ways to beat SAD but the most important is to find the root cause and live with a positive attitude, be aware of the triggers...

      Hugs from Canada

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image
      Author

      Rolly A Chabot 2 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi bravewarrior... Thank you for stopping and saying hello and you are right the internal clock as to the time of day gets very confused. Part of SAD is the fact it is such a drastic change in lifestyle, from being busy all the time to basically doing nothing because of the darkness...

      Hugs from Canada

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image
      Author

      Rolly A Chabot 2 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi AliciaC...

      Hugs for the visit to the Fireside and I do hope these few simple words may reach out to another who is struggling. A blessing for me to have found my way out of it...

      Hugs and Blessing

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image
      Author

      Rolly A Chabot 2 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi tillsontitan... Hugs for the comment as always and you are a welcome visitor at anytime. Yo are right, it can come with any names, The Funk, The Blues etc and they can all be as devastating.

      There are medications which can help, but again one needs to be careful not to mask the root cause.

      Hugs and Blessings from Alberta

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image
      Author

      Rolly A Chabot 2 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Lifegate... I wish I could understand why you are not getting notified of the few hubs I do write... in any case it is good to see you here again.

      Hugs and Blessings from the Fireside

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image
      Author

      Rolly A Chabot 2 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi aviannovice... Deb you are so right, in those months where we fail to get all the sunlight we need, supplements are wonderful. I take them on a regular basis all year around, hard to overdose on the great outdoors...

      Hugs and Blessing to you and yours...

    Click to Rate This Article