November 16, 2010

Sad November

The "seasonal affective disorder" described in this Washington Post article is only supposed to run one way, that is, the darker, colder seasons cause a depression that only increased light and intense heat can relieve. But googling around, I turned up this one on "Summer SAD." To the extent that pathologizing moods in such a way has any validity or use at all -- and I remain deeply, perhaps even ideologically, skeptical about that -- I suppose if anyone has it, I do.

For me it is mostly about the heat, but the sunlight that goes along with it has acquired an unpleasant association, and I continually curse it, like Gollum.

People always scoff when I get overheated and miserable in relatively temperate weather: anything approaching 70 degrees will almost always ruin my day, even though the people I encounter during these ruined days will relentlessly taunt me with homilies on how "gorgeous" the unbearable heat is, or even, if they really want to twist the knife, talk about how cold the unbearable heat is.

Apart from the heat, though, like those quoted in the article, I feel attacked by the sun, generally. My heart sinks when I wake up to see its rays invading through chinks in the blinds. On the other hand, a cloudy day can be like a little trip to Disneyland. I come alive in shade and semi-darkness (or in air conditioned spaces) as anyone who knows me can attest.

Anyway, scoff all you want, but this foul, summery November we're having now has really got me down.

Posted by Dr. Frank at November 16, 2010 05:48 PM | TrackBack

Absolutely true. I especially hate having to argue my position with people who can't handle cold weather but expect me to go outside with them on a summer day. They can keep layering until they're warm when it's cold outside. When I'm uncomfortably hot in a public setting, I can only take off so many articles of clothing.

Posted by: Chuck at November 16, 2010 05:59 PM

You must love the UK climate, or even Pittsburgh for that matter. I'd be happy to trade for your Bay area weather.

Posted by: ben at November 16, 2010 06:19 PM

The UK fall and winter are great, but their summers are horrible and there's not much AC. The East Coast has similarly horrible summers in my experience, but at least you can usually escape to the AC. It's not like I could afford to move anywhere, but if I could I'd probably have to go to Norway or something.

Posted by: Dr. Frank at November 16, 2010 06:26 PM

How bout Washington state?

Posted by: u at November 16, 2010 07:02 PM

U should try being menopausal and hearing such comments. It's quite tricky to keep your comments to yourself, especially on those "really" moody days when your sweating and flashing every 5 minutes and people keep telling you to go put on a sweater or you might catch a cold. I wish the sun, and people in general, were a little softer more often...Cheers.

Posted by: lb at November 16, 2010 07:08 PM

time to move to portland!

Posted by: aaron at November 16, 2010 08:26 PM


You're always welcome in Seattle. Nine months of clouds. Only a short window of sun in the summer, and even that's pretty unreliable. This year was, in many ways, the "year without summer" up here.


Posted by: Jason Black at November 16, 2010 09:15 PM


Posted by: josh at November 17, 2010 03:00 PM

This happens to me! I live on the east coast so summer's here are muggy and unbearable. All throughout the summer i cant wake up before twelve and im completely unmotivated to do anything! it sucks! I really like cloudy days though, and fog. fog is great.

Posted by: ez at November 26, 2010 11:18 PM
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