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Why Am I So Tired?

By Catherine Pratt

For the longest time, I knew there was something wrong with me but I didn’t know what it was. All I knew was that I was just unbelievably tired all of the time. It started back in my teenage years when I was in high school and went until my early thirties when I finally figured it out.

There would be days I would be so tired that I'd find it hard to even stand up. Also, sometimes, I'd suddenly get depressed for no reason. I can remember a lot of days looking at myself in the bathroom mirror and thinking with desperation, “I have to take some time off work. I can’t make it. I’m just too exhausted.” Of course I never did take time off and I would have to literally drag myself to work. It was a painful and frustrating experience that went on for years.

Christmas was also usually a horrible experience for me as I would seem to be extremely depressed and I wouldn't want to be social at all. I didn’t even know why I was depressed. And by February, it would be even worse. I thought maybe I wasn’t exercising enough, or eating well enough or not getting enough sleep. Nothing seemed to make a difference. I would continue to be just so tired all of the time. It would feel like my bones were made of lead and to move any part of my body was an intense struggle. Some days it even felt like a struggle to breathe. I was living in a world made of molasses. Life was just such an effort.

Usually, I’d find that by Easter I’d be feeling better and then I’d forget about it until September came around again and I’d be back in the same boat again.

I’m not even sure how I finally discovered the answer but it was a life-altering day when I realized the problem was that I was suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). The Seasonal Affective Disorder Association defines SAD as ‘a type of winter depression that affects…[some] people every winter between September and April; in particular December, January and February.’ The lack of light in the winter was causing the majority of my problems. Who would have thought that light would have such an effect? But, it really does and once I knew that, it all suddenly made sense.

Here are some of the symptoms I experience:

  • tired all the time
  • sleep problems
  • cravings for pasta and chocolate
  • irritable and don’t want to be social
  • tense and everything seems overwhelming
  • emotional, guilty (for not wanting to be around people), low self-esteem
  • low immune system

Having these symptoms also wreaks havoc on your relationships with your family, your friends, significant others, co-workers, and even your neighbours. So, you can see why it was so life altering for me to finally find out what was wrong with me and what I could do about it.

The good news is that if you have SAD, it means you need to take better care of yourself, which really, you should be doing anyway. Also, it usually can be managed without the use of drugs. In some extreme cases, however, medication and counselling do help.

I wanted to share my personal experience with SAD because my belief is that there are a lot of people who suffer from this and just have no idea. I have worked with so many people who will tell me they are just ‘so tired’ and ‘just can’t function’ and they don’t know why. I tell them about my experiences with SAD and you can see the light bulb going on in their head. It truly does change your life once you know what you’re dealing with. Once you know, then you can do something about it. So I hope this helps.

Edited with permission of www.Life-With-Confidence.com

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