Thursday, June 20, 2013

Seasonal Affective Disorder (1)

This is the first of what will probably be a number of posts on depression and/or Seasonal Affective Disorder -- problems that I have personal experience with.

It seems to me that there is a lot more to Seasonal Affective Disorder than the amount or intensity of light.  So there is probably more to the "cure" than using a light machine or moving south.

I tend to think of things in anthropological terms.  In anthropological terms, human beings have only "recently" moved out of caves and into modern cities.  Most of our past -- as a species or as pre-human primates or as other earlier forms of life -- was spent in much more primitive conditions than we have today.  But that's when we "learned" a lot of what we have to work with today.

For cave men (in Europe, for example), winter was probably a frightening prospect.  Winter would bring shortages of food, famine, cold temperatures, frostbite, and the possibility of death.  It would not be surprising to me that they would dread winter and feel "depressed" as winter approached, and as winter continued, before spring arrived.  So, it's not surprising to me that many people today dread winter and feel depressed as winter approaches, even though they might not have to deal with food shortages or famine or a real possibility of death.

So, that's my thought for the day . . .  just that it's not surprising to me that Seasonal Affective Disorder afflicts people today.  It's their heritage as creatures facing the terrors of winter.

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