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I’m hoping you’ll be able to help me. Or maybe it would help that I’m writing this down and telling it to someone, I don’t know. I’m in my early 20’s, female and live in the UK.
I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. About four or five years ago, it was quite debilitating and I found it difficult to concentrate on schoolwork and ended up not attending school very much at all as getting out of bed was such a struggle for me.
Over the last few years though, I’ve found it much more manageable.
However, as we’re entering October, I’m suffering much more than I’ve ever done.
I’m constantly tired and find it too much to concentrate on tasks at work (I work full time as an administration assistant), therefore I fall behind with deadlines.
My sleep pattern is erratic, alternating between not being able to wake up and not being able to get to sleep.
I’m plagued with feelings of despair, as if the world is going to end and have regular panic attacks. I feel tearful or cry at some point every day. I even have a nasty cold sore for the first time in about 7 years.
Aside from my struggling with SAD, I recently came out of a four-year relationship. While the break-up wasn’t acrimonious, we were living together and my ex-boyfriend has now moved out.
I’m trying to adjust to life as a single girl for the first time in four years, but I’m struggling with the fact that I now live alone.
Not only is it lonely and makes me feel somewhat overwhelmed by the thought that it’s just me taking care of myself for once, my income is now, of course, considerably less than before. I can still get by with paying bills and the like, but I’m pinching every penny and it’s leading me to feel worthless and even more depressed.
Now work is also very stressful. Staffing is short and the workload is high and I feel as if I’m running on autopilot.
I’m becoming increasingly concerned that I’m going to burnout or break down, as my daily routine is to get up alone in my flat, head off to work in the ever increasingly darker mornings, work all day in a stressful environment – feeling tired and sluggish, go home to an empty flat, barely be bothered to cook for myself as all I’m craving is junk food that I can’t afford and head to bed early to cry myself to sleep.
I just want some advice as to whether this is just a bad case of SAD or something worse. And what can I do to help minimise my stress?
I just feel trapped and lost.
Thanks for your time.
When things get really stressful, it is time to first look after yourself.
Over the last four weeks I have had some major things to deal with. My god-daughter was born and had to go straight into NICU (neo-natal intensive care unit). Then my sister’s baby was born and also had to go straight into NICU. I got a severe allergic reaction – I still don’t know the cause. Just after that I discovered that my mom has got skin cancer. And yesterday I had another severe allergic reaction and now I need to have tests done.
I have never coped well with stress, and this is just too much for me. As a result my home looks like a disaster area. My grocery shopping is behind. I have missed days at work, and I really care about my job. I have not exercised in weeks – and I love my exercise. I have started to snap at people for the simplest reasons.
What can I do to reduce my stress, or just to relax?