Is Seasonal Depression Just Repressed Hibernation?


| 12/26/2008 10:49:43 AM


Hibernation

Some half a million people in the United States experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD), according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Symptoms of the condition, also known as winter-onset depression, include anxiety, fatigue, and irritability, and the problems may keep coming back every winter.

The disorder is thought to be caused by the lack of sunlight that some people experience during the winter. It also may be an evolutionary remnant of human hibernation, according to columnist Carol Venolia in Utne Reader’s sister publication, Natural Home magazine. As recently as the early 20th century, Venolia writes that peasants in both Russia and France would shut themselves in for the cold months, huddling around the stove and barely moving until the spring thaw.

Venolia advocates giving into our hibernation tendencies, at least a little bit. If we did, “We’d sleep more and demand less from ourselves.  We’d be more inward and reflective.”

Image courtesy of OakleyOriginals, licensed under Creative Commons.





Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $40.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $45 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!




Facebook Instagram Twitter