The sleepless and tired victims of the 2009 and 2010 winter are now suffering the psychological effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). President Barrack Obama has declared the region affected by the “perfect storm” a disaster area and has promised the release of billions of dollars in federal assistance programs. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did the customary fly-over of the damaged area a few days prior to President Obama’s declaration. She was reported to have said, “I never could have imagined Washington D.C. looking so pure and clean. The snow has done a miraculous job of covering the dirt normally seen in the day to day machinations of our Capitol.” Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, called this a “health crisis” and she added per Rahm Emmanuel, “we should never let a serious crisis go to waste.”
Seasonal Affective Disorder, a resident of the Pacific Northwest for centuries, saw the improving weather in the northwest as a threat to her livelihood. She packed up all of her possessions in the fall of 2009 and moved to “greener pastures” of the Midwest, the South, and, eventually, the East Coast. Her arrival in the Midwest was greeted by the giant storm of global cooling plaguing the area. The two storms collided head-on in what was described as a “perfect storm.” Record cold and snow blanketed the entire eastern half of the U.S. Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Sioux City, Oklahoma City, and even Dallas, Texas recorded history making snowfalls. Residents are now reporting all of the symptoms of SAD, normally confined to the Pacific Northwest: depression, social withdrawal, lack of energy, decreased concentration, increased appetite and weight gain, increased stress, sleep disorders, fear, problem solving issues, and a general lack of interest in life’s adventures.
Reporters across the region related heart wrenching stories of men and women ravaged by the horrendous storm. An unnamed source in Tennessee recounts the sad story of a 62 year old retired son of a tobacco plantation owner. This man’s rise to fame after two failed runs for the Presidency of the U.S. culminated in his sharing of the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2007. Albert Arnold Gore, Jr. had devoted years of his life to promoting the fears of global warming. Once the media darling of MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and CSPAN for his attention grabbing headlines, he has been abandoned by the same media as a result of the fraud uncovered in the reports used to support his data. Some have said that Mr. Gore has been hibernating in the comforts of his recently renovated 10,000 square foot mansion in Nashville. His recent remodel in which he spent millions to save hundreds of dollars in huge energy bills has quieted some of his critics, but he still hides from the media. He was last seen in Copenhagen for the Climate Change Summit 2009. Al Gore was showing the symptoms of SAD. He exited his carbon billowing private jet wearing an authentic Australian oil-coated raincoat over a Pacific Northwest flannel shirt, jeans, and Gore-Tex lined boots. He had obviously added several pounds since his last public appearance. His steps were slow and lethargic. He lacked energy and wanted nothing to do with the requests for interviews from the press. His short presentation to the Summit lacked his usual concentration and enthusiasm for the subject that gained him his notoriety. It was obvious to all that he had been wallowing in the grips of Seasonal Affective Disorder.
People are now resorting to talk therapies, home-made light remedies, and un-regulated melatonin supplements and other over-the-counter medications to try to allay the symptoms while they wait for their numbers to be called by their doctors and psychiatrists. The new health care process has been taxed and overloaded by the hundreds of thousands suffering the SAD syndrome. Some estimates for appointments are as far out as 2013. In the meantime these patients run the risk of substance abuse, suicidal thoughts, sleep deprivation and other psychological problems.
Doctors from the Mayo Clinic and psychiatrists world-wide recommend that people affected with SAD take the following immediate measures:
See a doctor as soon as possible.
Stick to the treatment plan. Medications and therapy are essential.
Take care of yourself. Eat well, rest well, exercise, and sleep well. No alcohol.
Take stress management measures. Yoga, breathing exercises, reading, and warm baths before bed help you relax.
Socialize. Get together with friends and relatives. Conversation and humor help.
Take a trip to a warm, sunny climate. The Caribbean would be great.
If you are unable to get immediate medical attention, and your symptoms continue to get worse, the U.S. Government prescription suggests that you pull your shades, keep your room dark, hibernate (a la Al Gore), have a “good night’s rest,” and hope that Spring and Summer come quickly.
About the Author:
Recently retired after almost twenty years in the retail mattress world, I finally have the time for my passions: my family, reading, research, and writing. My new book, “Shop for Sleep and Survive the Bite” is now available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other book retailing sites. I enjoy blogging and Sleeplessandtired.com takes up much of my time. Topics are usually sleep related although I do venture off into humor, satire, and current events. Many of my articles have been published on the web. The ultimate goal is to continue my career of assisting the consumer in his quest for the “treasure” of a “good night’s rest.”