Newer Spo-fans may not know I have a bit of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This is a fancy name for depression occuring at a particular time of year.  Most people with SAD have theirs in the winter months; winter SAD was the ‘cash crop’ where I worked in Michigan.

My SAD is autumnal. The ‘season’ for it is approximately hurricane season. Like the hurricane season, SAD starts approximately at the end of August and goes to mid-October.  In some years it starts sooner or lasts longer. It varies in intensity and every year I don’t know how bad it will be. I has no pattern. I thought I would be rid of it when I moved to Arizona, without the usual Midwest ‘cues’ of temperature changes, football, autumn leaves etc.  My SAD has diminished but it hasn’t departed, alas.

This year’s bout seems to be a bad one. Last week it came on rather quickly (a bad sign) and it it rather intense (another bad sign).  Work has been particularly upsetting, with various issues therein not worth dragging on stage here. I think this may have triggered SAD to be sooner and deeper than usual (the past few years SAD was mild).

Although it is miserable,  I’ve had 40 years experience to know –

  1. it goes away and
  2. I never get to the point I can’t function.

So far. I always wonder if ‘this time it will stay”. Sir Winston Churchill – whose depression was far, far greater than mine – called his “The Black Dog”. I like that term, and use it with my own patients.

SAD feels like having dark glasses through which everything gets filtered with a gloom. I make no major decisions at this time, lest I be snoockered into doing something influenced by despair.

So if my blogs starts to sound a bit more gloomy, rest assured I am not going off the deep end. I am venting and purging the black bile out of my system, waiting for the season to pass.

Like the arrival of a constellation, Canis Melancholia has ascended into my night sky. I can’t speed up the rotation of the stars, but I have learned the wisdom to not let it vanquish me.