Six long months of freezing cold temperatures, drifting snow and bleak grey skies. No wonder they’ve come up with a ‘medical condition’ for… let’s just say for certain people, myself included, who are unable to fully appreciate winter in all its so-called glory: Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. Now, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I’m sad about winter, but I’m certainly not a big fan.
According to medical definition, SAD is a condition or disorder which involves episodes of depression that occur at specific times of the year, most often starting in the fall and continuing on though the winter months and into spring. Symptoms may include a loss in energy and ability to concentrate, a loss of interest in work and/or other activities, as well as lethargy, social withdrawal and general irritability.
Apparently, there is no real cure for SAD, although doctors will attempt to make a diagnosis based on a history of symptoms, along with a physical exam and blood tests to rule out other disorders that are similar to SAD. Light therapy, using special fluorescent lights that duplicate sunlight is a popular remedy/therapy used by some people who are suffering from SAD. Taking long walks during the daylight hours and getting lots of exercise will also help alleviate symptoms, but that would mean having to go out in the cold, so I don’t really see the point. Besides, while SAD does usually improve more quickly with treatment, most symptoms seem to get better on their own with a change of seasons.
I sure hope I don’t start getting any of the symptoms of SAD.
Personally, I’ve always felt there should be some sort of acronym for people who, although not clinically depressed, are nevertheless not really big fans of winter – people with more of an attitude towards winter than a medical condition. They could get together during the winter months, sit around at McDonald’s and/or Tim Hortons in the mornings, drink coffee and gripe about winter. Once there, they could gripe about all sorts of things other than winter, such as potholes in the roads, current affairs and/or city council, the price of getting winter tires put on (which technically would still be griping about winter), television re-runs, global warming and the fact they have to pay for their coffee refills.
I’ve also often wondered why we couldn’t change from the current Julian calendar to one where we go directly from September to March or April, thereby doing away with the winter months altogether. September is a good fishing month so it could be at least twice as long and spring could last from chironomid season right through to the mayfly and early caddis hatches. Summer could be extended so that people could take their holidays when the roads are free of snow. Service stations, that may have lost out on winter sales, would be happy because they could make up revenues by gouging people at the gas pumps year round instead of on long weekends like they used to. Oh, sorry they’re already doing that here in Salmon Arm.
Gee, now I am starting to feel a little depressed about winter. I hope it’s not the onset of SAD.
The sky sure is grey. Anybody know what the long-range weather forecast is for the Southern Interior?
What’s that Johnny Cash song where he sings, “I ain’t seen the sunshine since I don’t remember when.”
I think I’m finally starting to understand Sam McGee. I mean who he really was as a person and what drove him as an individual.
Four more months of winter. I don’t know if I can make it. I wonder where I could get one of those light therapy lamps.