Anxiety and S.A.D
I'm wondering if anyone else has this experience but here goes…
I've noticed lately that my anxiety tends to be at its worst during the short winter days as the sun begins to set.
It is a very scary feeling like there's not enough time in the day or I didn't accomplish everything I need. I basically have generalized anxiety disorder and seasonal affective disorder but I've learned to take a quarter milligram of Xanax and I usually don't need any more each day when I start to notice it getting dark just because it's unbearable.
I do deep breathing and practice mindfulness etc but it just seems like I can't get a hold of the situation when the darkness falls. I'm wondering if it's okay what I'm doing and of course according to my doctor it's fine but I just want to see how people feel about this…
I'm not addicted to Xanax but I wish some days I wouldn't have to take it at all when some days I don't but it's just such a painful struggle.
Any tips or suggestions are helpful or any words of encouragement or support are welcomed.
Thank you mayonnaise people!
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I'm anxious also that I don't accomplish enough during the short winter months. I'm trying to relax and rid myself of stress. I'm taking a medication for stress. You are not the only one.
I too suffer from general anxiety and I suffer and feel worse during the shorter sunshine days of winter. SAD is very real. I have been using a Verilux Happy Light, about 30 minutes daily, for several years. Bright Light Therapy is one of the best known treatments for SAD. If you do not use it, I recommend it highly. Also, I go outside without sunglasses and allow the sun to shine into my eyes, for about 10 minutes daily. This generates vitamin D in our bodies and helps SAD. I also take about 2000 mg Vitamin D, especially during the winter months. The sun and the bright light therapy help my general depression also. Hang in there friends, Spring is coming! P.S. I use sunblock on my face the rest of the day, after those 10 minutes in the sun.
I'm sorry to hear of your anxiety with dark winter days. It must be hard for you to cope with that. I'm just the opposite. I love dark, rainy, winter days! To me it shows whose in control with all that rain; God! Plus it's so peaceful and quiet. It keeps everyone inside their homes and quiet. I love quiet! It's a good day to bake cookies too! You might try that. Something baking in the oven makes the house smell and feel so good. Besides tasting good, it can be very relaxing too.
I don't like sunshiny days especially in summer! It's too hot for me and I feel uncomfortable. We have air conditioning but it's loud which I hate. Also everyone and their family are outside, yelling, playing loud music or running their loud cars! I just get through summer and anxiously wait for the first rainy fall day! I do bake cookies during summer with the air conditioning. It does help and is relaxing and they are very flavorful!
If the Xanax works for you keep using it. Did you read the side effects of it? That's important. Try talking to God about your problems also. He does listen and answers prayers.
I'll remember you in my prayers also.
You might try light therapy. It has been hep for me. I just sit & read for 20 minutes time each morning during the dark winter months. They can be bought online or at some pharmacies. Good luck🙂
@davidrose Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect! You've had some great responses here already, and I can add to please be gentle on yourself. The "bright light" remedy is something people have done for many years, and have had success with. Are you willing to give that a try?
Like you, I live with general anxiety, and even the littlest thing can seem to set it off. I'll bet you can relate to that, right?! Deep breaths, know it will pass, and get better. We can only do so much during a day's time, and some days we can only try to do our best, even when the list in our mind is waaay too long.
What are you doing today to relax, and understand "you got this!"?
I have had good results from "red light therapy" – using infrared lights – take on a book called "Red Light Therapy" by Ari Whitten, available on Amazon. This technique is both relaxing and helpful!
Hi. You are not alone I go through a dark every year when time goes backwards. I love being able to be outdoors till 9pm. So this time change is very difficult. There are lights that you can purchase. All the best to you!
@davidrose you are not alone. I have gone through this year in and year out for several years. General anxiety lingers on throughout the year. Medications only make me feel spaced out in; and don’t do much anyway.
Thank you all for your thoughtful comments and replies.
A lot of you have mentioned light therapy which is something I'm doing and I also do the deep breathing and as much of the other positive things I can do like exercise and plan enough time for the activities I want to do.
It's not even like I have that much to do it's just more like little thoughts and different things tend to overwhelm me and then they heat up till the pot boils over.
I'm still talking to my therapist and I'm thinking of discussing with a psychiatrist getting on an antidepressant that can help with my anxiety. I think I just need something for my baseline mood.
Does anyone have experience with taking Xanax I take up to half a milligram a day usually when it's really bad a quarter here and a quarter there I see a lot of things saying that it's bad to take it for a long period of time but I'm hoping I'm taking a small enough amount to be on the safe side. Sometimes it feels like aside from what I'm trying to do it's the only thing that gets me through it.
Again thank you all so much!
Just trying my best.
I'm trying to eat right and exercise and be around the people I care about.
I've always dealt with a little bit of anxiety but nothing that's ever hit me this hard it's nice to know there are people on here that I could talk to about it that are kind and empathetic and willing to listen.
I'm not going to be so hard on myself if Xanax is what I need I'll just take it I only take maybe half a milligram total per day and I need to talk to my psychiatrist about another approach to assist with my baseline anxiety so I don't have to feel like I rely on that.
I really do everything I can including the bright light therapy everyday but it just feels overwhelming and like a battle I just can't win sometimes.
I promise you I'll do my best to hang in there!
Thank you for your kind support.