From Winter SAD to COVID GAD, Stuck in the Tunnel

Do you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder? Many do and they begin to see a light at the end of the tunnel sometime in March, knowing spring is around the corner.

Many people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder hang on to one thing, spring… yes, spring! How people mentally deal with SAD may differ. But, one thing many have in common is knowing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel once spring arrives.

This year was different, actually to those who suffer from SAD, generalized anxiety and/or depression received multiple doses of “well, that’s just too damn bad,” because COVID-19 lingered at the end of the tunnel. The light which was so vibrant began to withdraw in March.

March is when we received the news that a new (novel) virus, COVID-19 was not only discovered but turned into a pandemic in a matter of weeks. Just when those of us who rely on spring to draw us out of our winter SAD well, we were told we must isolate, social distance, wear masks, don’t touch anything without sanitizing it- oh fuck, the list goes on… too much information to take in when your brain is already feeling bruised and abused from SAD.

Just when you feel healing is on the way, it’s as if you’ve been sucker punched in the gut hearing about a novel virus that can be deadly. On top of feeling as though you were sucker punched, you begin to realize that the stigma placed on those who suffer from Mental Health issues has taken a step back in time too.

Because the Corona virus has been down played by certain political figures who people worship, our legitimate fears and the reality of COVID-19 have been under attack literally. The people who worship politicians do not follow Science- yet, no matter how many facts they are given, they still turn to those who say the numbers have been manipulated & the virus is no worse than the seasonal flu. I’m not sure about you, but that type of mindset pissed me off in the beginning ( I think many of us were hoping that in time, those who think COVID is a joke, would understand how serious it is).

Whose beyond pissed off now and feeling emotionally exhausted, along with a sense of defeat?

Have you suffered more from anxiety and depression since COVID-19 entered the picture just when you thought SAD was nearing the end of the tunnel?

I find myself suffering from generalized anxiety and depression around the clock, 7 days per week. I find that I am much quicker to anger- my fuse is short because it’s beyond my comprehension that there are those when presented with facts by renowned Doctors and Scientists would much rather write them off and listen to the dribble that comes from Trump and his crazy chorus.

Most of us that suffer from the above mentioned Mental Health issues tend to have constant intrusive thoughts, add COVID-19 and deniers to the equation and we have a large population of people who rarely leave home, have been very isolated since last winter, insomnia growing worse, and feel completely hopeless.

Did I mention the nightmares? Are you sleeping much? When you do sleep, are you suffering from nightmares and literally feeling anxious and deeply exhausted through out the day, making it hard to do daily tasks that were just part of your routine prior to our second wave of SAD?

Are you missing family members because you are fearful they could be asymptomatic at any point in time which keeps you from spending time with those you love, I sure am! If I know that someone I love could be exposed to COVID-19 because they are may be around a few who don’t wear masks, or have a child in school… I’m just not able to justify being around them and then overwhelming guilt envelops along with sorrow.

Feeling sorrow because of COVID-19 even if you haven’t lost a loved one? Yes, because in essence it feels as though we have lost loved ones without concrete evidence that there is a vaccine that’s been proven to be safe or more drug therapies available to save lives before people end up on a ventilator.

Maybe it’s time for COVID-19 support groups via zoom?

I haven’t been able to find words to write in months. My husband and I rented a cabin away from it all and I was finally able to find my voice a bit after getting away from our home. My generalized anxiety followed me to our cabin but has been letting up a bit since we left.

We don’t have control over the unknown, and I believe we are still dealing with a lot of unknowns, considering they are still finding out that certain treatment protocols may be keeping more people alive.

Everyone’s situation differs when it comes to mental health but there is one common denominator, we all suffer in one manner or another. I have found that just talking out loud with those who love us unconditionally helps to lessen my anxiety if even for an hour.

If you are able to, take mini vacations to safe havens; just leaving the house helps your mental status. I can’t say I see a light at the end of the tunnel but I feel more at peace when I’m being honest with myself and others.

As for the guy who was “elected” POTUS, don’t listen to that idiot and his crazy rants, those rants along with the pile of lies he spreads deepen the anger inside which leads to more anxiety. Don’t give the idiot in chief that type of power over you. Don’t allow others to make you feel guilty for your choices because, our choices may just be our saving grace.

Let us build a community where we can support one another- after all, we all share so much in common and in the end, Science along with love conquering hate will win.

Let us be THE LIGHT for others to follow. We are much stronger than those who stigmatize us realize.

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