Seasonal Affective Disorder that is. According to the Seasonal Affective Disorder Association, SAD is a type of winter depression that affects an estimated half a million people every Winter between September and April, in particular during December, January and February. It is caused by a biochemical imbalance in the hypothalamus due to the shortening of daylight hours and the lack of sunlight in winter. For many people SAD is a seriously disabling illness, preventing them from functioning normally without continuous medical treatment. For others, it is a mild but debilitating condition causing discomfort but not severe suffering. We call this subsyndromal SAD or 'winter blues.'
SAD occurs throughout the northern and southern hemispheres but is extremely rare in those living within 30 degrees of the Equator, where daylight hours are long, constant and extremely bright.
And there we have the root of my problem. Having come from an island that is less than 30 degrees from the equator I am constantly battling winter blues. I love the sun. I really miss the sun! I hate the fact that when I wake up it's still dark, and that the sun sets so early. I'm used to having 12 hours of sunlight a day year round, and my body is in tune with that. So much so that I convinced Lucas not to use the window shutters that are so popular in France. I can't understand why on earth you'd want to shut out what little light is available, especially during winter. If we kept the shutters closed I'd just sleep all day because I am so used to waking up with sunlight.
You can always tell when it's a sunny day here because I am up early, extremely motivated and happy, and full of energy. Sadly during winter, sunny days are few and far between (today is quite grey in fact). I think I would deal with the cold weather much better if only the sun was shining at the same time. (I won't get started on the cold, that's another post for another day.)
So you can imagine that during the summer when the sun sets at 9:00 p.m. or later that I am the happiest and most overachieving person in France!