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.