Seasonal Affective Disorder

As I was writing this last week, I looked outside my office window and the bank said it was -2F and the wind chill was somewhere between 10-15 degrees below zero. Bottom line, it's cold, baby! (Picture credit: FridayEve)

In the past, I wasn't a believer in Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. I thought it was as believable as global warming. (Oops! I'm going to get comments on that one.)

People describe this time of year as the "doldrums of winter," where it's just cold, cold, cold as opposed to the "dog days of summer," where it's usually hot, hot, hot.

Around here, people's patience is short and tempers are flaring. A lot of people describe this as having "cabin fever." Maybe it's just this seasonal affective disorder after all. Here's a brief essay from Katie Couric.

In this article from, it describes SAD in kind of a comical way:

If anyone accuses you of being a surly misanthrope between the months of November to February, you can justify yourself with words to the effect of: "Sorry, but I'm suffering from a biochemical imbalance of my hypothalamus triggered by a melatonin deficiency in my pineal gland. So get off my back!"
Is this really a medical condition that requires treatment, specifically medication treatment? There's this report from last summer advocating med treatment for SAD.

What most people ask me about is the mysterious "light therapy" for SAD. "What's so magical about light therapy, doc?" I admit I don't know all about the research on this and the biokinetic process, but in my anecdotal experience, this light therapy thing may actually work.

My question is this: Does blogging count as light therapy? How about excessive television viewing? Hmmmmm.... I'll have to work on that. I'm not a card carrying SAD believer, yet. But, if this cold snap continues around here, I'll have more data to make an evaluation.