Stir-Crazy

I want to try something different with this post since I’m finding my brain likes doing things in abstract ways (like the doodling). I’m going to try to colour-code ideas with different text colours.

I feel like I’m going stir-crazy, waiting for life to happen. I know I’ve written about this countless times and I doubt anyone wants to hear me whine again, but let’s see if I can put a different spin on it. I’m anticipating this issue getting even more prevalent in a couple weeks when I have my surgery and I really am stuck at home – I added a countdown to the sidebar so you (and more importantly, I) can see exactly how many days are left.

There’s not much I can do right now (unless you count working on that paperwork that I’ve been putting far too much time into) but I feel like there should be, or that I should make something to do. Writing this post is proving difficult, even with a complete absence of distractions. I’m dogsitting for my sister, so all I have to do is sit on the couch and keep an eye on the dog who is mostly napping.

I’m not going to do the same thing as previous days like this and discuss possible reasons or hypothesising solutions. Instead, let’s try to turn this into something worth reading.

What is stir-craziness?

Well, the term itself comes from old slang for prison, stir. People in incarceration would develop this kind of madness after being kept there for some time. It’s not a medical condition, but it’s far from imaginary or trivial. It occurs when someone is confined to one place with nothing to do for a period of time, and they develop a restlessness, a manic need of something, anything, to stimulate them. I’m getting close to that point. It can result in impulsiveness, too, which I have noticed in myself when compared with my typical nature.

Stir-craziness is similar to cabin fever, but not as similar as you might assume. Cabin fever, it seems, is a sort of depression induced by isolation (like if you were in a cabin alone in the mountains for days on end) and manifests in different ways – wanting to sleep more and not really caring about your surroundings. Lack of sunlight can give you cabin fever, too.

The triggers sound very similar to stir-crazy triggers – isolation, small space, not getting enough light or socialisation – but the difference is in the symptoms.

Then there’s SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder, which one of my sources referred to as cabin fever’s “ugly clinical cousin”. It’s more extreme, and is even a clinically recognised mood disorder. The symptoms I found for SAD are exactly like regular depression’s symptoms. SAD is, obviously, experienced annually for generally a season, most commonly winter. SAD is sometimes referred to as winter blues or winter depression because of this.

So stir-craziness isn’t the end of the world lucky for me – and it’s easy enough to cure with a break in the monotony that is causing it. Going outside, doing things, and getting sunshine all supposedly help with it. I don’t know about sunshine, but the first two would probably be a good idea for me, especially since I won’t be able to go outside much for some time after my surgery. 

Sources:

https://therapy-counseling.knoji.com/cabin-fever-and-seasonal-affective-disorder-sad/

https://affectivefallacy.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/stir-crazy-or-cabin-fever/

http://counsellingresource.com/features/2012/12/05/adventures-in-stir-craziness/

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