Saturday, March 26, 2011
SAD (SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER)
I have a friend who suffers from depression and she asked me, "Are you ALWAYS happy?" I answered, "No, but why would I want to inflict my unhappiness onto others." In addition to her other ailments, she also suffers from SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER (SAD).
She did not find it amusing when I gave her "a prescription of daffodils". Seeing the daffodils blooming this week made my spirits soar!
In 1980, SAD was named by Doctor Norman Rosenthal of the National Institutes of Health. After he had moved from South Africa to New York to Maryland, he wrote about the feelings that he, some of his co-workers and patients experienced at the beginning of winter and the lack of sunshine. As its name suggests, SAD is seasonal as the symptoms appear during one season and disappear the next.
Rosenthal was not the first to identify seasonal mind and body changes. Hippocrates wrote: "Whoever wishes to pursue science and medicine in a direct manner must first investigate the seasons of the year and what occurs in them."
I believe it is a legitimate disorder but if I had it, it would be the height of irony as I am allergic to the sun!