Thursday, September 25, 2014

Light and Mood

Yesterday was overcast, gray and gloomy, with a little rain, but not enough. If it's going to be dark outside, I want rain or snow. Right now rain would be better. Anyway, the outer darkness influenced my mood, and I spent the day in a slough of despond. I've been told the slough is pronounced 'slew.' I pronounce it 'slow,' which seems to fit better. That long 'ohhhhhh' at the end is like a sigh or moan. So, I spent much time on the couch playing computer solitaire and thinking dark thoughts. Nothing was achieved except a load of wash and a grocery run and thinking about a brief essay I am due to write. Today is sunny, and my mood has amazingly lifted. In case you are wondering, I do have a light box and use it. It helps.

I am trying to figure out the evolutionary benefit of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Maybe none. It's possible people did not have it before modern less-than-full-spectrum lighting. It's also possible that SAD encouraged people to slow down in the winter, when they were stuck in a tiny sod hut with six other people and a peat fire. In that case, the SAD would encourage you to sit in a heap in a corner unmoving and maybe drink brennuvin, if you were rich enough to have a bottle. If you were not rich enough, you could always write a saga. This meant you did not bother other people. Imagine being stuck in a tiny hut for six months with a loud extrovert making Italian gestures. Obviously there would be a murder before spring.

Footnote: In order to determine if SAD has an evolutionary benefit, we would have to find out if it's genetic. Do people of Northern European descent have it, if they live on the Equator? Do people from equatorial countries have it, if they live in the north? I read somewhere that SAD does not exist in places like San Diego. Then we would have to find the gene, and we would have to run tests. Put people without the SAD gene in a small hut with low lighting for six months...


Blogger Peg said...

This made me laugh, which is a fine thing on (another) gloomy day.

I was just thinking this morning that it's time for me to pull out my own lightbox. And I recently shipped another one off to my daughter at college. Hope she's using it, too.

6:49 AM  
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