What It’s Really Like To Be 22 And Living With Seasonal Affective Disorder
Name: Jamie C.
Current city you live in: San Francisco
What condition/ailment are you living with?
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Can you give us a little background on the condition? What are the symptoms?
SAD is a form of major depression that affects the individual specifically during a season or time of the year. For me, I get it during fall and wintertime. I only want to sleep, I gain weight, I am very sluggish.
When were you diagnosed?
When I was 13 years old.
Were you already experiencing symptoms when you were diagnosed?
Yes, my parents noticed I got the same symptoms around the same time of year for several years so they finally decided to take me in to see a doctor.
How does this condition affect your life?
Well it sucks knowing that every time fall or winter comes around I’m going to start feeling like shit and there’s nothing I can do about it. The anticipation of it is probably the worst.
On a daily basis?
During wintertime it’s all but impossible for me to get out of bed or stop eating.
I’m afraid that I will never fully be able to get this condition under control and will never truly be myself all the time.
Does it require medication? Does the medication have side effects?
I am in psychotherapy and taking antidepressants. It does help, but it doesn’t make it go away completely.
What is the hardest part of having the condition for you personally?
Never being able to be myself all the time, just knowing that something I can’t control like the weather can affect me so drastically is a horrible, helpless feeling.
How does this condition affect you differently being younger compared to those who are diagnosed when they’re older?
I have longer to deal with this, but I also have more time to figure out the best treatment.
What do you do personally to cope?
I try to get out in the sun or in light places as much as I can. Fresh air and natural light help a lot.