I try to talk about mental health because people don't talk about mental health. I generally feel pretty good these days, and as I've said before, bupropion has a lot to do with that. This winter though, it's clearer than ever that seasonal affective disorder is real. I'm tired of it being written off as a personality flaw or a choice.
We've had a lot of gray sky days here in Orange County this winter. I can quantify it, because our solar production for December was about 15% below average, and we had five days in single digit kWh production. That's insane when you consider the output on a sunny day is in the high 30's for us in December (March and April are typically our best months). I've felt it. It's already difficult because of shorter days and the time change, but then turn off the sun, and I just want to hibernate. I disengage and just passively watch TV. I don't feel "well."
And as with so many other midlife reflections, I look back and wonder if I really understood the situation at the time. I can clearly identify being depressed most winters growing up in Cleveland, where that flat, gray sky can persist for weeks. And as was the case for ADHD and ASD related challenges back then, I hated myself for not "sucking it up" and getting off the couch.
So it makes me angry that this sort of thing isn't talked about, and back then even fewer doctors ever considered the subject, or mental health in general. It literally alters quality of life when we don't consider our mental health along with physical health. And if you're the type of motivational poster waving person who suggests people just don't choose to be "better," stay the fuck away from me. You're part of the problem.
If you don't feel right, most of the time, it doesn't mean you have a shitty personality. Ask your doctor about ways to get help.