The title above is a quote from an extremely hilarious Australian friend I showed our amazing West Edmonton Mall to. I thought this would be a good photo for today because it is an example of how Edmontonians deal with the extreme weather that this time of year starts to usher in. It can be very difficult for people living here at these times, partially because of something called Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is a condition where the low sunlight hours actually causes a form of depression to set in that can be quite serious.
Depression is a topic very near to me, when I was just 17 I lost a friend to suicide who I believe must have suffered from it. Over the years I had serious problems with depression as well, but at first I didn’t understand that it was anything wrong. I always attributed it to something else and just lived with it, which could have been a very serious and even fatal mistake. I have a clear memory of going out on a date with a young woman I really liked and then finding out she had no interest in going out with me a second time and really wanting to end it all-over just one date. Fortunately as time passed and I had other problems, namely my psychosis that caused me to be hospitalized, my Doctors eventually realized that I had severe depressions as well. I was put on anti-depressants and they helped but it took time. I think the medication that has made the most difference in me to this date is Prozac.
Right now I am having another kind of difficulty that has to do with my illness and the medications I am on, I have an extreme need for sleep but often I have problems getting to sleep. I have found some herbal remedies that seem to be working well, including melatonin, skullcap and valerian (anyone with any questions or wanting more information about these please feel free to contact me: email@example.com). I don’t know too much about the skullcap and valerian other than that when I take them in combination with each other, always being careful not to build up a tolerance to any one herbal remedy, they seem to work well. It seems sometimes it has been years since I had a full 8 hour sleep, but lately I have had a few of them.
Melatonin was approved for me by my Psychiatrist, I know that it is a naturally occurring sleep hormone and that it can be pretty powerful. What I have been finding is that if I take too much or take the melatonin too often, it doesn’t make me sleep, it makes me incredibly restless. The skullcap and valerian seem to help me get longer and more restful sleep but again if I take any of them every night the effects lessen greatly.
One of the problems I run into is that when I am working a lot or under a lot of pressure I need some serious time to decompress. This weekend I went to see a movie (Bridge of Spies–awesome film!!) with my Dad and slept fairly well when I got home but it has been a very hectic week. I woke up and had a bit of a stomach ache and so I took some gravol which put me right back to sleep again and I basically slept away all of Saturday, Saturday evening/Sunday morning and most of Sunday. I do feel pretty renewed now but I hate to think sometimes that I am wasting my life sleeping. I suppose it doesn’t just have to do with stress, but also the other medications I take, but everything plays a part. In lieu of a poem I am going to post a second photo below for everyone.