Monday, December 15, 2014

Weird Photosensitivity Science

Smithsonian reports on the various negative health issues associated with a lack of sunshine. Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD is only one such, lack of naturally produced vitamin D is another.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a subtype of depression that involves many of the same symptoms, including loss of energy, lack of interest in enjoyable activities, oversleeping and feelings of hopelessness.
I did my doctorate at the University of Oregon where we often went two weeks without seeing the sun.  The gray, wet fall-winter-spring skies of the Willamette Valley were enough to trigger SAD, something a grad student didn't need.

The typical fatal accident in OR was a one car crash, stereotypically a vehicular suicide. After being hassled by student radicals, the acting UO president drove his VW head-on into a loaded logging truck, and died instantly.

SAD is nothing new. In the early 1800s, the Lewis and Clark expedition overwintered at Fort Clatsop near the OR coast.  Their diaries record bitter complaints about months of dreary sunless weather.