Almost daily diary!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Storm Clouds (part 1)

For the last 10 years or so since I've known Husband, he has found this time of year increasingly hard to cope with. When I first met him I must have missed it! It didn't seem to appear for the first few years of our relationship but some years are worse than others. About 6 years ago it was particularly bad, but this year it is worse. As soon as the clocks change I can feel his darkness drawing in. It's not light related because it drifts away ages before the evenings brighten in March.

It starts around Tall Girls birthday and seems to wear off just after Boxing Day. The symptoms range from sadness, to being cross, short tempered and grumpy, worrying about his own health and finally (when bad) taking to his bed. He will often blame his mood on Christmas (bah humbug), and years ago when his mother was well enough to travel, I assumed it was her upcoming visit that got to him (not a good relationship there as you may have guessed!) However she no longer comes to stay but the mood continues. The taking to his bed bit, as it happens, usually manifests around Tall Girls birthday week. My reaction to it ranges between sympathy (just a little!) and crossness (mostly) because I don't want her to pick up on how he feels or have anything spoil her special time. I think his reactions are echos from his own childhood and I certainly don't want her to suffer in the same way.

Anyway, last Friday night I came home with the children, after having quite a sociable hour with friends, to find him in bed. From where I was standing he was having a panic attack, but he thought he was going to die.

To cut a long story extremely short, after speaking to a doctor and various other things, he seemed to calm down and eventually all was well. But the dark cloud is hanging over this house. I can feel the storm gathering and I very much hope we're not in for too much of a bumpy ride.


Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

Ahhh the bah humbug I spoke of earlier!! feel like saying eff off dontcha!! but doing so will create MORE grump and more atmosphere....BIG SIGH!

Liz said...

AS his child grows older does he become more aware of his own mortality?

Could it be a shortened form of SAD?

Did the doctor suggest anything? Bach's rescue rememdy? Anti-depressants?

I went for years getting progressively more depressed and my life becoming not worth living; then I was prescribed pills and my life changed. Sometimes they are the only remedy for chemical misbalances.

Lindsay said...

About 10 years ago I had a series of panic attacks and you do really feel you are about to die! Got sorted out by a physiologist who made me look inwards by writing down lists of what I did throughout the day and what I thought. Came to the conclusion I was doing too much and hyperventilating. Hyperventilation, for me, was very difficult to cure but managed in the end.

I do hope Husband manages to get sorted out and a sunnier mood arrives in your house.

BS5 Blogger said...

Hey there Sub, I am sorry the gathering storm is above your house. Happy thoughts and broad sunlit uplands to follow, I hope.
(Yeah, I stole two Churchill phrases there).

The letters to confirm this comment were 'run lean' - I wonder if that means anything?

Suburbia said...

Saz, I know you share my pain ;)

Liz I think your first one hits the nail on the head (tempted to write coffin!!)

Linday, so glad you had help and that it worked so well for you.

rosiero said...

Sounds like SAD (seasonal affective disorder)to me. Maybe he needs to buy one of those light boxes. See this

Maggie May said...

Have you considered that he might be suffering from SAD?
Ups someone has beaten me to it!

Suburbia said...

Hi Maggie, I don't think it's SAD because SAD is light related and I thought you got that further into the winter. This seems to always start suddenly and end in the depths of December!

cheshire wife said...

Could it be that he is allergic to Christmas? and the thought of spending all that money on presents etc - you say it clears up on Boxing Day.

Hope you can get him sorted out.

Akelamalu said...

My first thought was an extreme case of SAD. I know I start feeling unhappy as soon as the nights start drawing in. Has he tried a light box - you never know it might just make a difference.

Happy Birthday to Tall Girl - a fellow Scorpio. My birthday isn't until next Tuesday btw, thanks for asking. :)

Elizabeth said...

I think it is definitely worth going the chemical route - if only for a short while.
Tell him his sadness affects you and the children.
Unfortunately, when depressed, people find it hard to see outside themselves.
Sounds like SOMETHING must be done.

Suburbia said...

Cheshire wife, I think you may have something there!

Letty - A Little Girl With A Curl said...

Christmas used to depress me no end.

Not kidding, it was the pits. Everyone jolly, jolly, jolly and me in a dark pit worrying about money, presents and all sorts.

Also it could be SAD, I suffered greatly until I bought a fairly inexpensive lamp from Boots the Chemists, ok, it was about £75 but it was amazing the benefit I found.

Also not having my Mother In Law, (similar syndrome perhaps??) come to stay too often greatly helped.

Not making light of it, "lowness" in general is an awful thing. Plenty of fresh air and exercise helps when you are blue, something to do with the pheromones.

When I feel a bit low, or even a lot low, I walk for miles with the dog, and somehow it helps.

Hope his cloud lifts soon, I have been there, know how it is.

Suzysoo said...

I think also that it might be a form of SAD. If he begins to recover around Boxing Day, if you think that the Shortest Day, the Winter Solstice, is around the 21st December then it begins to turn and the days start to lengthen again. Perhaps he is aware of that 'turn', even subconsciously, and he begins to feel better.

I am very aware that the days begin to lengthen again at that point in December and always feel glad about it.

Dori said...

No advice, only my unwavering empathetic support!

swile67 said...

thanks for thoughts and prayers will be with you...i know a little of the dark cloud in dealing with my mom...keep pressing on

Rose said...

Suburbia, My heart goes out to you. This cannot be easy for you and the children. I see others have suggested some very good theories. Another possibility is that he has some repressed childhood memory of a bad experience at this time of year. I hope he can find the cause of this feeling.

Suburbia said...

Welcome Letty, nice to meet you. I have tried to reciprocate but I see you have a private blog. Thank you so much for your support :)

Soo, that could explain it I guess. I always thought it was the short days that made SAD.

Dori and Swile :)

Yes Rose I'm sure it's childhood echos and it would be great for him if we could find a way of addressing it. Thank you for your support too :)

the eternal worrier said...

I was joking with my girlfriend the other day that the day the clocks go back is the worst day of the year! It’s the ‘real’ slap in the face that winter is on its way. And I’m with him on the Boxing Day thing.

Nick said...

As someone who also hates the lengthening nights and finds them depressing, I can sympathise with his reaction. On the other hand, and I know this sounds very strait-laced but, it's easy to get self-indulgent about it all and sink into listlessness and gloom.

Personally I find if I concentrate on all the positive things in my life and ignore the dark-induced negatives, I can carry on fine. Especially if I add a few extra positives like good food and wine and some engrossing books.

Jennysmith said...

How did i miss this? And there's me moaning about scatty mums!!

I feel for you over this difficult period, having to carry all this, but remember you have your friends on here if you need to talk more.

love J xxx

Elizabeth said...

Checked in to see how you are doing, as feeling sympathetic.
I agree with others.
Sun lamps, exercise......
This is nothing to make light of (no pun intended).
ps lots of people have suggested I get a rabbit.....
Wish we had a garden!

Suburbia said...

Worrier, thanks for your 'slant' on the problem. I appreciate your comments.

Nick, I do have a post on the 'back burner' whose title is 'reasons to be cheerful!' ;)

Jeent, so kind, thanks :)

Elizabeth you could have a house rabbit! The great big ones are addorable, not sure about having a smeell hutch inside though!!
Thanks for thinking of me :)

Mean Mom said...

Sorry to hear about this. I feel sympathetic towards you and the children, but also towards your husband. I have suffered the beginnings of 3 or 4 panic attacks. Amongst other things, I felt as if the life was being squeezed out of me. It was like being in a vice like grip, which slowly became tighter, so that I began to lose my breath. I wanted to run and run and run, but I knew that I couldn't get away, because the feeling was inside me.

Exercise is a great idea and fresh air is very good. I hope that your doctor has helped and that the storm cloud passes very quickly.

Marvin said...

I am sorry my blog is closed to you, it is nothing personal! I would like to invite you but do not have your email address!

I also hang around here known as my dog.........Marvin.

email addy is on his blog if you want to know more!

I enjoy reading your suburbia thoughts, I am trapped there too!

Well kinda self trapped, not forcibly trapped.

Enough already.

Jeannie ;0) Also Letty Little Girl With A Curl

Ladybird World Mother said...

Horrible. so awful when there is someone in the house who has 'black dog'. Bet it is SAD although thats no help to know. If I think of anything, or see something on internet, will tell you. Meantime, take care of you. X