For most of my life, Seasonal Affective Disorder was something I read about and didn’t really experience. It wasn’t until October arrived in my intern year and i started hitting all the SIGECAPS that I realized something was amiss. In retrospect, I spent so much of the winter in medical school holed up with my best friend, skipping lecture to sleep in (watching it later on 1.5 speed), drinking cocoa, and self soothing that I probably didn’t notice. But as a resident, winter meant literally not seeing the sun for weeks at a time, and the effect on my mental health was pretty profound. Winter 2020 was especially harrowing given the pandemic.
Now that I recognize how my brain reacts to the change in seasons, I try my best to prepare. I get my SAD lamp out. Line up my therapy sessions. Am more forgiving of myself and my capabilities during the winter months. I say no more, try to worry less, and pull the people I love close. What do you all do when the SAD starts to hit?
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