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Seasonal Depression

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When winter's chill sets in, Seasonal Depression, sometimes called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), casts a shadow over many lives. A dense mist descends upon the hearts and minds of those impacted as the days get shorter and sunlight becomes scarce. It's as though you're stuck in a never-ending twilight, with the darkness within reflecting the outer world. Often ignored, the early symptoms are written off as the typical wintertime blues. But as the weeks go by, it all starts to weigh heavily. A new day to face is cruelly reminded by the alarm clock, which makes mornings feel like midnight. A haven from the never-ending darkness outside, the warmth of bed beckons like a siren. Even simple things can become enormous obstacles. It feels like a mountain to get out of bed, and the prospect of going to work every day feels oppressive. Things that used to make me happy now appear far away, as though they are seen through a thick sheet of foggy glass. Social events, which used to be a place of joy and camaraderie, now seem like insurmountable obstacles. It feels like a Herculean effort to put on a grin and act like everything is fine. Rather, solitude turns into a solace, even as it intensifies the feeling of being alone. Food becomes bland, colors become muted, and the air itself becomes oppressively thick. The globe appears to have lost all of its energy, reduced to a desolate, monochromatic landscape. Even the slightest setbacks kick off a chain reaction of pessimistic ideas, each of which pulls the spirit deeper and deeper into the chasm. In this cloudy existence, time becomes meaningless. Weeks stretch into months, and days into weeks, in a never-ending cycle of cold and gloom. The springtime promise seems like a cruel joke, a far-off dream that might never come true. There is a ray of optimism, nevertheless, even in the middle of this gloom. There are ways out of the darkness, including light treatment, medication, and therapy. The mist gradually starts to clear, resembling the first rays of morning peeping through the darkness. Although the seasonal depression is a powerful enemy, it is defeatable. Those clouded days can reappear with self-care, support, and patience. Those who are impacted by this silent battle for the time being cling to the hope that, like the seasons, this too shall pass.