Thursday, November 12, 2009

An Official Definition of Seasonal Affective Disorder

I have just promoted myself to themacinator, PhD, MD, LCSW. Congratulations, and please pay me $2.60 an hour for the privilege of reading this blog.

For all of you doubting Thomases, Seasonal Affective Disorder is real. And I have discovered the root of all of the bio-chemical-feedback-loops that cause it (excuse me if my scientific terms are a little wobbly; my promotion has come very recently and I believe the diplomas may have been lost in the mail). Additionally, I am in the process of discovering a cure.

When standard time kicks in, many people start suffering from a vague malaise. They are hard pressed to define what this malaise is, or the root cause. There is more complaining: night comes sooner, and most people leave work when it is dusk or dark. This is something to complain about. Some people are able to compensate for this, but for many of us who are already sensitive to ... many things, are deeply affected, both by the complaining, and by the early nightfall. By the time we get home, it feels like nighttime. We don't want to go out again, it feels too dark to see our friends, too dark to walk our dogs or go to the gym, and driving in the dark is always dangerous and a pain in the ass. It becomes hard to motivate to do much more than our inside-the-house activities like TV, reading, sleeping. If we like to drink, we might drink inside (and alone) rather than out at dinner or a bar. Can you see where this is going? YES! Alcoholism, car accidents from driving at night, and TV addictions. Basically, nowhere good. Seasonal Affective Disorder is very real. And all due to short days and long, long nights.

For themacinator, the specifics are thus: we have the inability to go out and take pictures. I could patrol the environs with an ultra-heavy-duty flash, but I'm not so good at flashes, and the night is kind of a deterrent to leave the house, as aforementioned. I could just shoot in indoor locations, but many of these are semi-hostile to photography, and not nearly as fun as strolling the out-of-doors. Then there is the nervy Mac who loves to be walked but does not do well at night: every shadow is a cat or small dog, the better to be hunted. And finally, standard time always coincides with the end of baseball season. What is one to do for 2.5-3 hours when one can't listen to a baseball game? Sleep, I suppose, or read. But one cannot read for 2.5-3 hours without sleeping. And thus, one's social life suffers, one's exercise and creativity suffers, and one suffers in general.

My solution, which is still in the works, as my PhD, MD, and LCSW degrees were very hard to complete and I am still working on my engineering degree (what's that called?) is a very very large flashlight. Those SAD lights are fabulous, but my research shows that SAD is not actually a deficiency in light or vitamins in total, but rather, a deficiency in daylight time to do activities, see people, and get moving. Thus, this very large flashlight will project daylight blocks at a time, thus allowing people to do their normal outside activities in these heavily illuminated blocks. Photos can be taken, driving can be done, dogs can be walked, and friends can be seen, all due to this handheld, but extra strong flashlight, brought to you by themacinator. You heard it first here.


Rinalia said...

Very, very, very large flashlights sound perfectly awesome to me.

thb said...

uh huh, maybe you forgot why god invented the southern hemisphere, you just need a migrating mechanism, so i recommend you get an audobon degree (AUD) or maybe something called the master of birdology (MOB)