Translation from English

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Enjoy those flowers while you can...in a couple of months we will be wondering where the summer went

Actually, at the moment all I can think of is that summer meant having to remember to put on sun block when I went out all the time, and the horrendous electric bill I have for keeping the place reasonably cool during that LONG July heat wave..

I wonder if there is a psychological twist to summer I may have missed...this from Psychology Today from a year ago


Summertime Sadness

Don't ruminate in the rain
Jubilee rain in the UK
"Oh the English, they go on about the weather all the time"—well so would you if you had weather like ours. Faced with the wettest summer since records began I, along with many of my fellow countrypersons, went through all the usual stages of loss.I was in denial: surely this couldn’t last. I was angry: this was a personal injury and attack on my well-being. I bargained: If I could get work out of the way while it rained then I would truly deserve a sunny break. Finally, I got depressed and accepted that there would be no summer this year.
My husband will confirm that dull, cold, wet weather does not bring out the best in me. But is it just the lack of sunshine or is the rain adding insult to injury?
Research on seasonal affective disorder (SAD) tends to concentrate on the effect of low sunlight and Denissen et al’s analysis of the effect of weather on the daily mood of over 1200 Germans found temperature and sunlight to have the greatest effect on low mood (but no effect on those already in a good mood). The effect of rain was mainly accounted for by the associated lack of sunshine.
A similar effect was found in a study of 33 Canadian pre-schoolers: sunshine increased prosocial and helping behaviour in those children who tended to be more anxious and/or depressed. Yet one more reason to hope for sunny school holidays.

But apart from lack of sunlight, it has always seemed to me that rainy weather, associated with low atmospheric pressure, could bring on a bad mood—and it seems I am not alone. Forget lunar cycles, when those isobars on the weather map start crowding together and the pressure drops, people go crazy. Violence and emergency psychiatric visits can soar as barometric pressure goes down.

Mizoguchi and Fukaya were able to control climate conditions to show that low atmospheric pressure alone can make rats depressed—they become increasingly immobile when forced to swim, which is thought to indicate helplessness and despair. If you are not convinced that we can tell when a rat is depressed, bear in mind that this effect was counteracted by giving the rats an antidepressant, imipramine, and they also returned to normal under natural atmospheric pressure.

Denissen’s study found that individuals varied a great deal in their response to the weather. Maybe there is something about me that makes me susceptible to cold, dark and rain. In fact, I think I may have found the key psychological factor in Sigmon et al’s study: they found that "rumination" (or "thinking" as I prefer to call it) combined with weather conditions predicted depression in a group of moderately SAD women.

Well, at long last the sun is shining and astonishingly, it hasn’t rained for three days. But for all my fellow moderately SAD people out there, when you see the clouds rolling in again and the barometer drop—stop ruminating and get busy!

"A change in the weather is sufficient to recreate the world and ourselves." Marcel Proust

“For the sight of the angry weather saddens my soul and the sight of the town, sitting like a bereaved mother beneath layers of ice, oppresses my heart.” Khalil Gibran