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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Why No Recent Posts?

A couple of reasons: mostly I have been busy with a lot of rather mundane tasks but another reason is no doubt due to my mild Seasonal Affective Disorder!  I get mildly depressed in the winter but feel much better in spring and summer.  I live in an area where winter days are short and there are big changes in the amount of daylight.  Also, I’m finding I dread the snow and cold more and more as I get older.  You know, getting dressed and going out in the dark and the cold to plow the driveway and the sidewalks; it gets harder every year even with the 5-forward and 2-reverse speed snow blower in the garage!

Experts are not sure what causes SAD, but they think it may be caused by a lack of sunlight. Lack of light may upset your sleep-wake cycle and other circadian rhythms. My sleep has been whacked out...to bed at 11 o’clock or mid-night and up early and mid-afternoon naps. SAD may cause problems with a brain chemical called serotonin that affects mood.

The symptoms are feeling sad, grumpy, moody, or anxious and losing interest in your usual activities.  One may also eat more and crave carbohydrates such as bread and pasta and there is a tendency to sleep more and feel drowsy during the daytime.

Doctors often prescribe light therapy which it is said works well for most people and is easy to use. But, you need to stick with it and use it every day until the season changes.  Other treatments include antidepressants which can improve the balance of brain chemicals that affect mood and counseling.  They say regular exercise also helps.  Actually, I’m not into any of these things because it’s not serious enough to cause a real problem; it’s just an annoyance. 

But the fact remains that playing my correspondence games has become a burden and I don’t want to bother with them...I just grit my teeth and slog through them.  Fortunately the lack of interest hasn’t cost me any points...yet.  I have offered and accepted some draws in positions where I would normally have played on though.  Fortunately all of those opponents have been higher rated so it hasn’t cost me any points. I have also been working part-time at my old job three mornings a week and that really helps because I’m so busy there.  Still, I find myself yearning for some 70 degree weather and it getting dark at 9:30 or 10 o’clock at night!

It was said of some of the Soviet players that they learned a lot of chess because they spent so much time studying it during those long, cold, dark Soviet winters.  I admire them for being able to survive, let alone being able to study chess.  Anyway, if you live someplace where it’s warm and sunny, can I come and visit for a couple of months?  It won’t cost much to feed me and we can play some chess.  In the meantime I'm going to go eat some bread and butter then take a nap.

1 comment:

  1. I live in a northern state myself. The only thing I have found to work for me is a daily intake of Vitamin D (D3) and adding a few full-specrtum light bulbs.

    Coffee and chocolate doesn't hurt either. I picked up some melatonin to help me sleep at night but have not tried that yet. It is supposed to help with jet-lag which I suppose winter emulates as well.