How seasonal affective disorder works

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12 Responses to “How seasonal affective disorder works”

  1. Thad Boyd says:

    Does anyone know of any research on depression during exceptionally hot weather?  Because I’m a native of Phoenix metro and it seems to me like lots of people go into a funk when it tops 100 degrees.  Seems like it could be based on a feeling of being oppressed and fenced in and not being able to comfortably go outdoors.

  2. Rich Keller says:

    The problem I have is during the summer when I can’t get enough sleep because the sun comes up at 5:00 AM where I live. That’s when I get bummed out.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      The problem I have is during the summer when I can’t get enough sleep because the sun comes up at 5:00 AM where I live. That’s when I get bummed out

      I’m with you.  I would move from pole to pole if I didn’t hate the cold so much.  1000 to 1600 would be a nice amount of sunshine.  But then I live in a place where it’s sunny 355 days per year and the UV is 16 out of 16.

  3. Brian Moore says:

    Did the Starks suffer from SAD?

  4. snowmentality says:

    Which reminds me, it’s time to dig out my LED light panel again. In winter, I prop it at eye level while eating breakfast/drinking coffee. It helps. (I bought a cheap one — the brand name is Zadro. It’s in the $50 range, which is about 25% of what most SAD light boxes seem to cost. I know it’s available online at Amazon and Target, may be available elsewhere too. It’s just blue LEDs, not full-spectrum or anything.)

    Now, I just need to rig up something to slowly increase the intensity of a bright light to wake me up (that doesn’t cost $100+ like every “sunrise” alarm clock out there).

    • Ambiguity says:

      Now, I just need to rig up something to slowly increase the intensity of a bright light to wake me up (that doesn’t cost $100+ like every “sunrise” alarm clock out there).

      If you, or someone you know, is handy with a bread-board, you could put something like this together with the Arduino for a good deal less.

  5. Ambiguity says:

    I freaking hate the winter. It’s an accomplishment just getting through it…

  6. agtcockroach says:

    A teacher of mine in high school had SAD, only he didn’t tell us till March. I grew up in Chicago, so this meant that for 6 months I had a mean, a-hole for teacher who chewed us out daily and graded so severely no one had an A. Then in March, he was the happiest, friendliest teacher in school and half of us had an A. When he told us he has SAD, I felt cheated and betrayed, like this was the new Twinkie Defense – you have to forgive me for being an insensitive jerk and almost ruining your chances of getting into college, I have SAD, and thus cannot be held accountable for anything I say or do during the winter. 

    If he had told us in, say October, that he had SAD and his reaction resulted in an unusually irritable demeanor, my class would have been able to prepare for it. Instead, we all grew to hate him and routinely complained to other staff about his behavior.

    I understand that this is a real condition and it affects real people, and if you can take steps to offset it, by all means please do so. This condition affects not only your life, but the lives of people around you.

    • Cornan_KotW says:

      That does sound horribly unfair and extremely frustrating.

      My Mom has SAD. It made childhood a very interesting set of experiences. When we finally moved to a slightly nicer climate when I was 18 life got a WHOLE lot better. The biggest problem growing up was that SAD wasn’t a recognized thing yet and so she could get no treatment or recognition from any health care provider or insurer. This meant we just had to tough it out for 8 months a year to get to those few months where it didn’t rain for weeks at a time.

      Because of this experience I never want to live somewhere with that much overcast again even though I don’t, myself, suffer from SAD. The associations would be depressing enough in and of themselves.

      SAD really does directly impact the people around the ill person almost as much as it does the sufferer themselves.

  7. CH says:

    Lalalalalalalaaaa… winter is not coming! Shush!

    I hate the winter. You drive to work when the sun hasn’t quite yet risen, you drive home after the sun has gone down. If the skies aren’t so gray that you wouldn’t see the sun anyway. That in itself is depressing.  I love the summer and the light around the clock. I know that people who move here have trouble falling asleep, but I love it and hey… you can use blackout shades.

    So, I will hold onto summer until the last leaf has fallen and the first snow falls!

  8. daev says:

    I’ve often wondered about the opposite.. While I don’t become depressed seasonally, I’m typically in much better spirits as the snow starts to fly… cold air makes me think of soup, fireplaces, warm socks, etc. It’s quite the warm fuzzy…

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