Seasonal Affective DisorderWednesday, June 19, 2013
Seasonal Affective Disorder
I have a distinct memory of wanting to curl up on the car floor, over the pedals, and melt into the wiry grey plastic fabric of the floor mat.
I was eighteen and taking an experimental prescription drug for the severe seasonal depression I suffered through every October-through-April from my mid teens until my early 20s. (And now, occasionally, my mood will dip in that direction; I can effectively head it off with healthy doses of exercise and caffeine.)
It wasn’t that I was ever suicidal, exactly, but there was plenty of dispassionate wishing that a car might hit me. I would never have stepped out in front of one intentionally, but I didn’t think I’d mind so much if one happened to strike me. For the most part I wasn’t even hoping to die should such an incident occur.
For the most part.
For the most part I believed that the presumed outpouring of grief and shock from my nearest & dearest might jolt my zombie of a heart back into the land of the emotional living.
Either way, it came as a bit of a shock that the utter certainty with which I foresaw my imminent demise by driving accident (as I got into the car to go pick my mum up from work) was not a source of relief but one of abject terror.
Panic attacks really are the lovely kind of experience that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. This one had me sobbing near-hysterically in the driver’s seat of a motionless and garage-bound car for a good 30-45 minutes. Knowing that if I drove that vehicle, on that night – which I had to do or my poor mother would have no way of getting home from the Surrey clinic she’d worked in for 12 hours that day – I would inevitably crash and die. Inevitably.
But I sure got off that drug real fast."