Thursday, June 12, 2008

Summer SAD

Most people have heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), commonly known around here as the "winter blues."

Winter has never bothered me. In fact, I love it. I know that we don't have the harsh winters that other parts of the country do, but our winter is perfect for me. Once the cooler temperatures start, I feel as if I'm emerging from a cocoon of sorts.

Just today I found out that there is a summer SAD as well, a reverse of the usual SAD. This article about summer SAD in the New York Times is several years old, but it puts a personal face on the problems associated with the disorder.

I get headaches from direct late afternoon sunlight. Not the usual "oh, my head hurts" headache, but the non-localized "oh, I feel sick" headache that can last for hours afterward. Morning sunlight doesn't bother me too much, but the afternoon sun feels so intense that I try to avoid going out then unless I know I won't be in the direct light.

The problem has become worse as I've gotten older, especially in the last few years. And to be honest, I always thought that it was odd. I've never even mentioned it to anyone except my husband because I was more than a little embarrassed by it. Now I'm wondering if there's more to it.



smalltownmom said...

I get headaches if there is a real contrast between light and dark, like the afternoon sun shining on the floor when the rest of the room is dark. Or the light shining in through a window at school, right in my face as I am working on the computer.

Good luck with this.

My Goodness said...

Huh, that's interesting. So you're backwards...we still love ya! :)

When shall we meet up again? This winter!?!? hee!

The Boyds Family said...

Hmmm??? Interesting.

CelticBuffy said...

I agree with you that, as I've aged SAD has become worse for me. I'm the lack of sunlight kind though. On sunny days I have good energy, am optimistic and generally happy. Lack of sunshine leaves me moving slowly and feeling depressed. It doesn't matter whether it's summer or winter, just the fact of whether or not the sun is shining. The older I get the more drastically it affects me. I'm even considering getting one of the special lamps to sit under on overcast days. I can see, though, how the reverse can be true also, that too much sun could affect a person's mood/abilities also. What can you do for it?