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Overcoming Seasonal Affective Disorder.

2011 was possibly one of the best years of my life and yet I was battling depression. 

So, what happened?

I was 26 years old when I got married to my boyfriend, relocated to Norwich, a beautiful city east of England, found a job where I met few lovely colleagues and to be honest had a very supportive manager. Outside work I made some fabulous people and some of them became friends for life. I had many reasons to be happy and yet I was depressed.

 

Well, what really happened?

I only realised long later after reading a book is I was dealing with multiple changes in my life and that can trigger anxiety, and which also can lead to depression in few people.

I left India for the first time which meant left behind my family and friends.

Tariq, my partner, and I have known each other since childhood days but we were living together as couple for the first time. I really enjoyed each moment but there were so many things we were working out together – finances, sharing chores, alone time etc.

The weather was completely different – from a very warm climate the cold weather was difficult for me to adapt and to be fair I was still learning to buy the right clothes and shoes to stay warm.

However, there were far more complexity in this whole situation. There was not really a space where I had introduction to the concept of cultural integration – the accent was different and I was ashamed I was not able to understand people when they spoke, I could not eat food with fork and knife and could not cope up with so many other things.

In personal space there was a need for cultural integration too. Tariq and I had interfaith marriage and even though our families were not living with us in the same house or even country we suddenly became a family, and I felt a lot more pressure than my partner to integrate with cultural practices and expectations from the family. I simply think neither of us in the family had the right skills and knowledge to support each other.

There was so many things going on in life, and as a result it took a toll on my mental health.

 

How did it impact me?

I was in complete denial that I was depressed and felt anxious.

I simply pretended everything was fine – work very hard at workplace, party harder. But then I was crying at night, not sleeping enough and eating junk food all the time.  I had frequent mood swings and had unexplained body aches and pains.

 

What did I do to feel better?

I only accepted the fact I was depressed when one day I confided to a colleague about how I was feeling, and he mentioned me about Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) which is sometimes known as “winter depression”.

So, I decided to do something about it. I started with exercise and mindful eating. I have discovered walking is one of the best therapies when I am feeling low.

Being honest about how I feel and share with people I love and who loves me too was a very important step to make things better.

And last but not the least I took time to know about triggers, mental health, and well-being. There are many ways – read a book, listen to a podcast, explore in social media or just google to find support services, talk to people and off course professional help can be life changing experience if you have met the right person. In my case a therapist completely changed my life a few years ago.

 

One thing I have learnt in my life is never to compromise with self-care. 

 

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UNVAELD Professional Help

We do not provide professional help to individuals in urgent crisis. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please call 999 immediately. For support with suicidal thoughts, consider contacting the Samaritans UK, a trusted organisation specialising in confidential assistance during emotional distress. Your safety is paramount and there are professionals available to provide the urgent help required in such critical situations.
We do not provide professional help to individuals in urgent crisis. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please call 999 immediately. For support with suicidal thoughts, consider contacting the Samaritans UK, a trusted organisation specialising in confidential assistance during emotional distress. Your safety is paramount and there are professionals available to provide the urgent help required in such critical situations.