December 25, 2012 7:20 PM Subscribe
I get extremely depressed (sometimes to the point of suicidal ideation) on my month long winter break from college. Help me help myself prevent that from happening this year.
posted by Hey Judas! to health & fitness (18 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
I live with my parents and I commute to a university that is only 20 minutes away. I'm in my fourth year of college (taking 5 years to graduate) and this has happened every year. I don't think it is seasonal affective disorder because I was doing very well the last few weeks during my last classes and finals. There seems to be a switch in my brain that turns from "stressed but productive and hopeful" during the semester to "extremely sad and apathetic" after I'm home for a few days.
I was previously diagnosed with major depressive disorder as a teenager, which dissipated into dysthymia until earlier this year. I changed my major and started eating correctly and losing weight. My mood has been so much better since then, but now I'm falling back into the annual winter break sadness.
When it's time to study for finals, I have all these big plans of how I'm going to learn a new programming language, finish a few books, practice my instrument, finish my crochet project etc. when I'm finally done with the semester. That steam runs out after I've been home for 2 days, after which I turn into a total zombie. When I have no set deadlines and no pressure, I just can't function for some reason. I've been home exactly a week now and all I've done is make Christmas cookies, watch trashy TLC reality shows and lurk on MeFi and reddit. There are a hundred better things I could be doing, but I choose to lay in bed, think about sad things and distract myself with meaningless crap instead.
How can I suck it up and start being productive? I have been doing extremely well and I didn't think I would ever feel this way again, so this is a huge, extremely disappointing setback. Does this happen to anyone else? Does anyone have any tips on how I can deal with this?