SAD is hibernation

On last week’s episode of TIDE I mentioned an article entitled YOU NEED MORE LUMENS. The use of caps is important, as you’ll discover when reading the article. The author, David Chapman, talks about building his own lamp to stave off his Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) as the commercial ones just weren’t powerful enough.

As I get older, I’m getting to know more about how my body works, but especially about how my brain is wired. Something definitely clicked when I read this paragraph:

SAD is basically hibernation… My brain slows down after the equinox, and—without treatment—by December it’s impossible to do serious thinking. I do tend to get depressed in winter, but I suspect that’s mostly because I can’t think properly.

Thinking is my life. I’ve often fantasised about having yearly regime where I use the summer months to speak at events about what I’ve thought about and written in winter (and then published in the spring). However, I never actually hunker down to write anything of significance, and I think that the above quotation may well be why.

Having actually suffered from depression and anxiety for a short period around 10 years I know that my SAD is nothing like as bad as it could get. It’s more like the melancholy you’d get if you were locked in a room with Radiohead on all of the time. But still, it sucks that my brain effectively goes into hibernation mode for around a quarter of each calendar year. Perhaps, like some species of birds, I need to be migratory.