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  • Writer's pictureCrone

Sun angler

When fishing for reasons for my low mood, I'm hooked by the possibility that it's not the hours of sunlight, but the angle of it that effects me.

SAD is well-known. Not enough of whatever bandwidth of light. A problem for people closer to the poles in the winter seasons. Yes, yes, a familiar one.

But with me there's a peculiar malaise that slips into consciousness in late summer. It's happened before as early as the end of July, but this year, though I've not always been what one might call cheerful, this specific flavour of depression has only been in my psyche for the past week or so. It's also more evident on sunny days. To be clear, on gloomy days I tend to feel gloomy whatever the season, to some extent at least, misery-guts that I am. This sun's-angle thing, though, is more apparent when I can see the sun.

I'm sure that the angle impacts me. I can feel a difference in the quality of the light. Even on a very warm and sunny day in September.

What I can't find is anything that suggests that this is a 'thing'.

I know that the hours of sunlight at a certain time in spring trigger various birds, for example, to start mating behaviour. But this is related to daylight hours, evidently. Though how do we know what the birds are responding to? It could be to the angle rather than the duration.

In different latitudes, apparently, trees form different shaped crowns to maximise light on leaf area and this is related to the angle of the sun's rays.

My autumn mood has a feeling of nostalgia about it, a sense of loss and a sliding into the darkness. It does seem to me that there might be an evolutionary link: that it might be preferable to limit effort and energy expenditure so that calories are maximised for temperature maintenance, maybe. That's a guess and probably a shit one.

Some theorists have sought for an evolutionary basis for depression. Something like it being advantageous to hide a way and preserve energy at certain times. It seems something of a stretch to me. I can't see any benefit to low mood. I can see a benefit to caution and risk-aversion - but those don't necessarily correlate with mood. Not in my experience at any rate. I am not especially risk-averse. Anxiety, though, and I do think now that I have that, does suggest a careful calibration of risks and costs versus likely benefits. I think I'd be well attuned for life in a physical sphere - whether or not to climb that rock, to attack that boar. I'm just shit at whether or not to invest that money or try to get that job.

I have been wondering whether what I have always thought of as depression is in fact the effect of repressing or suppressing anxiety. I try not to ruminate and over analyse and thus perhaps I flatten myself, deaden myself? It seems plausible and might suggest why anti-depressants have never been that useful.

The problem with anxiety is that there is no rational answer for questions like, 'What if I die alone?' I mean, how is some clever thinking going to ease that? It won't. All anyone can say is, 'Don't worry about that now' and that is exactly what I do: I don't worry about it, I deaden it, and I feel dead.

That's the point, and I think I said this is a recent post: I just feel awful and part of why is that these existential anxieties are present but as I know that there's no point thinking about them, I don't think about them consciously - but now I am starting to think that this doesn't get rid of them, it just means that they're there, below the surface, flowing through my life, poisoning my mood.

Yet if I fished them out and thought about them, I could not reach a resolution because there is no resolution. Devil and deep blue sea.

Pass me the medicine.

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