My Seasonal Affective Disorder makes me want to hibernate until spring.

Graph I made showing my mood pattern throughout the year. It’s this way every year.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my SAD.

SAD is triggered by the lack of light and shortening days for those affected with it. During the shorter days the brain produces more melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone that induces sleepiness in certain animals, like bears. It’s the reason why some mammals hibernate until the warmer, longer days of spring. Unfortunately, some humans retain this biological urge to hibernate, but because we must continue to live productive lives, our natural urge to sleep is ignored and seasonal depression is the result.

I seem to suffer from a weird form of SAD. The fall is much more depressing to me than winter. Most people with SAD feel terrible in late fall AND all winter. But for me, I start feeling depressed sometime in mid-August, when the days are growing noticeably shorter. Obviously, for me, the heat as nothing to do with it.

My SAD really kicks in once Fall officially starts and the trees start changing colors. My worst months are by far November and December. I absolutely hate them. I can’t stand the holidays (too stressful), so they do nothing to lighten or bring cheer to my low mood. All I want to do is curl into a little ball and hibernate until early spring.

In mid-late fall, everything looks so grim and barren to me–shades of gray, brown, and black, and everything is dying/going to sleep. The cold, gloomy, overcast days don’t help either. It’s dark when I get up and dark when I come home from work. It’s everything I can do to drag myself through these dark, depressing days.

Although I hate ice and cold and snow, sometime around the end of January (which I read is statistically the most depressing month of the year) my mood begins to perk up as my body begins to notice the lengthening days. Actually, I feel relief after the first day of winter, just knowing the days are going to get longer for 6 more months. I feel even more relief once the Holiday season is over (which I find really stressful).

My mood continues to improve until mid-late spring, then starts to level off, until early August when it starts to sink again.

My mood is at it’s highest around the end of April/early May. I have no idea why. Maybe because the days are fairly long by then, but the oppressive heat (which I don’t really like) hasn’t kicked in yet.

I think it might also have to do with the fact there are so many happy colors in the spring–and they aren’t the dreary 1970s-like browns, golds and oranges of fall. They’re more like 1980s colors–or even 1960s colors in some cases (and weren’t both those decades less depressing than the 1970s?) Everything isn’t all the same boring shade of green the way it is in summer either. I love spring.

My body/brain seems to mimic the cycle of hibernating animals–except that in the winter I actually feel better than in the fall. That I can’t really figure out because I hate cold weather so much (and it’s coldest here in February, but my mood is not that bad anymore by then).

I face this same strange pattern every single year. I’m coming into the worst of it in about another month or so. Blah.

For further reading: How to Beat Seasonal Affective Disorder/Winter Blues:


17 thoughts on “My Seasonal Affective Disorder makes me want to hibernate until spring.

  1. Omg! That happens to me too. Good thing though is you can fall into deep intense sleep with lots blankets. Years back I had this really old vintage space heater in my room. It lit up like a fire place and had a buzzy sound and I had the best sleep with it
    ….until one day it blew up and all these flames were spitting out luckily the circuit breaker kicked off and that thing burnt out.

    I had a real fire place,.. But it was too much work. I chopped an entire dead tree down in my parents yard one year and transported it too my house in several loads from my car trunk. It didn’t take long to burn up all that wood. Fireplaces are very expensive… unless you live out in the wilderness where there is an overabundance of trees…


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  2. All right. I’ll try again You remind me of Til Eulenspiegel. Legend has it, he was very depressed whenever he walked down hill. because he was thinking of the tough climb back up. While he was climbing the hill, he was cheerful because he knew he would soon be able to go downhill again. I named my s/m group which I helped found The Eulenspiegel Society. In the spirit of Matesheen Society. Sexual outlaws gave their groups names that didn’t give away what the group was really about. Everyone hates the name, btw. They now call themselves TES.

    The other thing I was reminded of what an animated cartoon I saw in camp. It was about a bear cub who didn’t want to hibernate. He would chant:
    “I don’t have to worry
    “I don’t have to care
    “My coat is warm and furry
    “I’m a great big grizzly bear.”
    In the end, he hibernated.

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    • That’s so true about me! I never live in the present–I’m always either looking forward to something (feeling happy in winter becaue spring is coming) or dreading something (feeling terrible in the late summer because fall and winter are coming). It is stupid.
      Cute rhyme about the bear cub.


  3. I figured out why I have so much trouble with WordPress. They have 2 accounts for me. So naturally my password for WordPress wouldn’t work if I’m logging in under my name. I’m gonna try to fix it.

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  4. It’s not very good for those of us with SAD. Fall and Winter are the absolute worst seasons for us. However, here in the U.K. Summers are usually a few sunny days which pick my mood up, mainly though it’s dull, grey and often wet. These are the days when my mood sinks, but my worst months are November through February.

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