How the Light Gets In

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in

Leonard Cohen

A bean of light shines into a cave through a hole at one side

SensitiveType on Facebook

My brain is abuzz with all of the things I read and see that I want to share with you. The backlog is getting too huge to ever catch up, though, so I set up a Facebook page where I can post things that don’t make it into a SensitiveType blog post. Check it out (there’s also a link in the right sidebar).
A screenshot of the SensitiveType Facebook page

Here Comes the Sun

You may not have noticed if your weather is anything like mine, but the Winter Solstice passed about an hour ago. This means the longest night, the bottom of the year to people with SAD, is behind us, and daylight tomorrow will last longer than today. Hang in there.

Graphic of a large sun, with a vine stretching out from it towards the earth

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it

About those other things that have been going on with me lately? One of them is the weather. We just had a nasty heat wave, and I have Seasonal Affective Disorder.

A SAD State of Affairs

SAD, or, as it is officially (but inaccurately) known, Major Depression with Seasonal Pattern, is clinical depression in response to factors in the physical environment.

A graphic of a sun with a female face and rays blowing across it as if a breeze is blowing from the left sideWinter SAD, which you may have heard of, results from insufficient exposure to light. It was first observed as a winter-related phenomenon, since sunlight is weaker, days are shorter, and clouds are more common during winter in many climates.

However, SAD can also be found year-round in people who work at night and sleep during the day, or even those who live in sunny places but spend very little time outdoors. That makes the name misleading, and the official diagnostic criteria just plain wrong in far too many cases.

Summer SAD, which you probably haven’t heard of, is major depression triggered by heat, usually in conjunction with humidity (I’m fine in the desert). It also is not necessarily seasonal, but can occur wherever someone is exposed to hot and humid summer-like conditions, whether natural or artificial.

I have both types of SAD. Continue reading

I’m OK. No, really.

There’s a drought where I live. Drought is a terrible thing for wild animals, farmers, and lawns. But for me, endless sunny days are a dream come true. My name is – well, never mind – and I have Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Don’t let anybody tell you there’s no winter in coastal California, because there is. I admit, it’s a kinder, gentler winter, but in an average year, 4 inches of rain a month for 4 consecutive months results in significant solar inhibition. That’s when I hunker down in front of the light box, cancel my expectations, and hope life doesn’t throw me any curves for the duration.
Sun breaks through clouds and reflects off of a creek in a verdant landscape
I used to live in a place with 300 cloudy days a year. Continue reading

Checking In

Close up of the face of a large turtle looking inquisitively into the cameraHas it really been a month since I posted? Sorry about that. On something of a whim, I started a daily post series on one of my other blogs. I had been neglecting it ever since I started Sensitive Type. The flurry of posts were an act of defiance against the obstacle that kept me from doing what I loved, even though I knew that obstacle was probably me.

I kept it up for three weeks.
Continue reading

The Black Hole of Depression

scream faceRecently, a fellow HSP blogger raised the question of whether knowing one is an HSP might make depression a little easier to handle. In other words, could knowing you are an HSP help you to take a step back and become conscious of your own reactions and needs, instead of automatically acting them out? Continue reading