Waiting for the Sun

by Bill Brenner on March 9, 2010

The author on how longer days mean less depression — for him, anyway.

Mood music for this post: “Waiting for the Sun,” by The Doors:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0kypyGSKsE&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

I’m starting to feel it. The mental release that comes with longer periods of daylight.

Sure, everyone loves the longer days and everything else that marks the coming of spring. But in my case, longer days means a reduction in my Prozac intake. And that’s pretty freakin’ cool.

As I’ve written before, the cold grayness of winter and its shorter periods of daylight have a serious impact on my mental health. [More on that in Prozac Winter and The Mood Swing]

Ah, but the sunshine. It fires up every remaining cell in my brain.

It’s odd that I turned out this way. As a child, I used to prefer the winter and its shorter days. It was almost like a security blanket for me. It made me feel cozy as I hunkered down in my room.

Now it’s the opposite. I thrive on days where the sun starts rising around 4:30 a.m. and doesn’t set until close to 9 p.m.

Go figure.

The good news is that I didn’t wait until winter got the better of me. This time, in early December, I was waiting for it. I knew the Christmas season usually threw me into deep periods of depression, and when it hit this time I took action. I started this blog. And, I opened up about it with my therapist, who suggested an extra 20 MG of medication for the duration of winter.

It was a shaky start. One weekend I experienced wild mood swings where I was up one minute, down and angry the next. That was the brain readjusting to the dosage change.

It carried me through winter — still is — better than what I’ve lived through in previous years. [More on that in The Engine]

The goal now is to roll back the extra 20 MG I’ve been on later this month and go back to the previous level.

I think that’s going to work out just fine.

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