Tuesday, January 11, 2011


No, I'm not unhappy; I have the winter blues.

The appropriately-acronymed S.A.D. stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder.  The NHS defines it, roughly, as a September-April depression, the symptoms of which include a low mood, a loss of interest in ordinary things, being less active, putting on weight, and sleeping more.

(Personally, for the last three: check, check, and check.)

Okay, I don't seriously think I have S.A.D.  Winter blues, maybe, but not actually full-blown depression.

That being said, I can see how you could easily slip into S.A.D. at 51*30'N latitude, which is where London rests.  It's dark when I wake up at 7:30am, and even on the sunniest of days twilight begins around 4pm.  (Trying to describe the sunniest of days in London in the winter, by the way, is like explaining the intelligence of a Jersey Shore cast member: it's all relative.)  Yes, we've passed the winter solstice, which means that - technically - the days are getting longer, but I haven't noticed.  I just live in hope.

Apparently S.A.D. affects approximately 7% of the UK population, and sufferers are disproportionately women in their 20s.  (Check and check, but who's keeping track?)

Remedies - if you can call them that; I would argue that the only realistic cure for S.A.D. is hibernating till spring, though I think that my boss would disagree with this - include light therapy, psychotherapy, and medication.  Or you could just pray for spring to come quickly.  (Does the UK believe in Groundhog Day?)  I know that I'll be dreaming of this until April...

Thailand, summer 2009

In all seriousness, though, if you think you suffer from S.A.D. please do some Googling to find support groups and/or professional help.

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