NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

July 5, 2013

Boomer Talk: The weather conversation

It is the great equalizer, talking about the weather. Each of us can relate to this topic, and most of us include it frequently, perhaps all too frequently, in our conversations. If there is nothing more urgent to say to someone and we want to be friendly, we can always talk about the weather. It is a safe topic, one we all have in common.

“Nasty weather, isn’t it?”

“You think the sun will ever shine again?”

“I am so tired of all this bad weather.”

But, there are those rare times when we are able to say or to hear something positive.

“Isn’t it a gorgeous day? So perfect in every way.”

In these moments, we feel grateful that the weather is cooperating and helping uplift our spirits. We pause a moment and take a long, deep breath, feeling so good to be alive.

Some fortunate folks seem not to be affected at all about what is going on outside. They hardly notice weather and never complain when it is freezing or sweltering. For them, it is “whatever.”

But others are dramatically affected by the weather, both physically and/or emotionally. Physical pain, as with arthritis, may come on strong with certain kinds of weather. Others suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder), a type of depression that arrives when day after day the sun does not shine. SAD occurs at the same time every year, sapping energy and bringing on moodiness. Treatment for this disorder includes light therapy (photo therapy), psychotherapy and medications.

There has been some interesting research of the seasonal effects on suicide rates. The prevalence of taking one’s life is, surprisingly, greatest during the late spring and early summer months, despite the common belief that rates peak during the cold and dark months of the winter season. It is hard to explain why this is so.

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