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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Holiday spirit nowhere in sight for those suffering winter blues

    Everyone’s talking about the economic depression, but not as many are discussing the shift in moods during this particular season, especially in these troubling times.

    Stress due to school, relationships, finances and the job market can make anyone’s head explode, but experts in the psychiatric field have also recognized a particular condition that can sometimes rear its ugly head during the winter months.

    Seasonal affective disorder, also conveniently known as SAD, hits some people like a truck over the holidays, as a result of shorter periods of light, changes in weather and other factors. It can affect anyone, though studies have shown it occurs mostly in women. Most students go home over the vacation, so SAD-ness is particularly relevant for those visiting the Midwest and other places with frosty climates.

    According to a report in Michigan’s Kalamazoo Gazette, low energy, increased appetite, loss of interest in activities, withdrawal from work and social activities, plus drowsiness and a need for more sleep are some of the common symptoms for SAD. Light therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy are two treatments the article cited as beneficial for those suffering from the disorder.

    Dr. Daniel Amen, a clinical professor of psychiatry and human behavior at UC Irvine in California, said in a Monday report on news station KCBS that a lack of vitamin D plays a large part in unhappiness during this season, and that getting outside and engaging in activities can be a good way to boost vitamin D levels and get your brain and mood back on track.

    In overseas depression news, the Glasgow Daily Record in the UK reported that a minimum of one in six people are hit with depression over the span of their lives and one in 20 is diagnosed as clinically depressed. Acupuncture is one of the common methods used to treat people whofall into this category or who also suffer from stress or mood disorders, according to the Record.

    It may also all boil down to the ions in your life – ensuring that you maintain a good negative ion level in your home to help you stay positive, reported a recent article in the Chicago Tribune. “”In the winter especially, our air-tight homes tend to seal out negative ions. Computer terminals, fluorescent lighting, forced-air systems and some newer building materials generate an abundance of positive ions. Positive ions make us feel tired, depressed and irritable,”” the Tribune article stated.

    While there is a lot of doom and gloom in the world, we eternal optimists at the Daily Wildcat want to continue to deliver a positive message of hope and tranquility. Although there is a lot to be angry or sullen about, on the flip side there is also a lot to be thankful for.

    In the political world, Barack Obama was not only elected as the 44th president of the United States, but has quickly and wisely chosen his cabinet, including, sadly, our own Gov. Janet Napolitano. While it’s natural for Republicans and conservatives to feel a little downtrodden, think about us – we had to live through two decades’ worth of Republican rule in nearly 28 years. Not since the consecutive 20-year span from FDR to Truman have the Democrats held that much office, so stop all your whining and give the ass a chance.

    In the music world, Axl Rose finally decided to bring Chinese Democracy to the U.S. While 99 percent of the population out there might say that’s a bad thing, I feel differently. I think Axl wanted to wait until the best possible time to release something that is obviously very dear to his heart, if not kind to listeners’ ears. The past decade and a nickel has clearly not been adequate enough for Axl to grace us with Guns N’ Roses music.

    Last, but certainly not least, it seems that Britney Spears has finally settled into a stable life. The Queen of Pop and I are separated by a mere 25-day age difference, so I feel a certain concern for her mental well-being. Going to bed at 9:30 p.m. and with a new album out, Britney is officially back, bitches.

    – Matt Wavrin is a media arts senior. He can be reached at

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