Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hello sunshine

I was at the doctor before Christmas asking about some symptoms which I thought might be multiple sclerosis related. In passing I happened to mention that my mood was low. I didn't feel truly depressed, didn't want or need medication, yet I still felt not quite right and mood disorders can be a hidden symptom of MS, so I thought it was worth highlighting.

The doctor asked if I ever suffered from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). I said no, because I'd never been aware of any connection between my mood and the seasons before. But now that the sun is out and the weather is becoming milder, I'm beginning to see there probably is a connection.

Like most people with MS I don't cope well in the heat, indeed both of my identified relapses have been in the summer. But almost two years on from diagnosis I can also recognise that I get far more stiffness and pain in the winter, that probably I function less well overall. This winter I've struggled to blog at all and I largely lost interest in social media, preferring just to lurk and only occasionally post because I was finding a number of people and conversational topics on Twitter upsetting. Don't worry, the problem was mine, not yours.

But with the appearance of the sun my mood has lightened. I've also started to take more vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, but that deserves a blog post all of its own one day. I'm at my best in the spring and autumn, I must make the most of it.

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