Seeing the Light: Writers and Seasonal Affective Disorder – Part Two

snobben_thumb[5]Seasonal Affective Disorder is primarily a mood disorder, with sufferers experiencing normal mental health throughout the year, but becoming depressed or generally more down in the winter months. Seasonal variations in a person’s mood may be related to light, or rather the lack of it. 

SAD is often more prevalent in higher latitudes and in Finland, for example, the rate for SAD is close to 10%. Winter depression is a common slump in the mood of the inhabitants of Scandinavia. Researchers estimate that up to 20% of the population is affected, and there are words in the Icelandic and Swedish languages that specifically refer to seasonal affective conditions. 

Excessive cloud cover, an aspect of daily life for those living in the Pacific Northwest in North America, may also increase the number of sufferers in a particular region. Researchers have estimated that SAD in U.S. adults is around 1.5% in Florida, yet closer to 10% in the northern states. The effects of the changing of the season on a person’s mood and energy level, even those people in apparent good health, are well documented and it is common for people living at high latitudes to experience lower energy levels in the winter months, both north and south of the equator. 

For help with your writing at any time of year, check out my coaching and editing programs.

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