The Seattle Experience: The Depression Factor

April 19, 2007

1ebfscd.jpgJust came back from a fruitful and educational meeting in Seattle where I attended the Annual Convention of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.  I was therefore off my usual schedule in updating my blog.  Attending the AACE meeting also afforded me the chance to say hello to my mentors at Mayo especially this year where more than 8 of the plenary speakers and workshop facilitators were my former mentors at the Mayo Clinic. 

I also make it a point to also explore the place in between serious learning to learn more about the people and the culture  especially Seattle where we heard most from the movie Sleepless in Seattle.

It is indeed true that it rains 70% of the time in this part of the world.  It was almost always cloudy and that there was only 1 day out of 7 that I saw the sun!  In fact the newscaster was saying …” this is your chance to get out and enjoy because were not sure when the sun will come out again”.

The place reminds me of an important and yet unrecognized aspect in treating hospitalized patients. When I see patients in the hospital and if I know that  they will be there for quite sometime, I usually request them a room with a window.  For me light therapy is as important as my medications. It is not easy to be hospitalized and be worried about the illness.  Therefore being able to enjoy and see the light from the sun can be a bonus to early recovery.  This is already known in the world of depression especially during winter wherelight therapy in fact has been shown to be as effective as antipsychotic medications in the treatment of depression.  And experience wise… it almost always works.

The Seattle Experience therefore brought back memories of my days in Rochester Minnesota where winter is at its worst and therefore light is at its minimum.  Beautiful places but nothing beats the SUN in Cebu!

So if you have the chance… enjoy our year round sunlight.  Its one beautiful bonus that we have which we seem to take for granted.  The sun gives us the perk we need to stay alert,and  the Vitamin D we need to help our bones and muscles strong.  Unfortunately…as is true to everything we own… be it a person or a thing…we only start missing the value of a thing or a person when they’re gone!

The Seattle experience made me take a second look at Cebu and value each day that we have the sun! Enjoy the benefits of it … be it for fun or for health!

Beat Depression…Enjoy the SUN! 

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5 Responses to “The Seattle Experience: The Depression Factor”

  1. John Says:

    Just love the sun! Glad it has benefits! better off going to Florida instead…right Doc?

  2. mariz Says:

    you made me misty eyed. im going to live abroad soon in a cold place and i surely miss the sun of Cebu.

  3. Doc Gerry Says:

    Seattle has its own beauty. I really treasure my stay in Minnesota for 3 years as those were the best years of my training life. My point is… there may be some downside in staying in cold always cloudy places but they likewise offer other advntaages that you can enjoy. It’s really up to you to explore the beuaty that each place has to offer. Definitely Florida is s great state but you may have all the sun but be careful with tornadoes and hurricanes….

  4. Bob Says:

    Great article. I’m interested in how light therapy can help with depression. I read this article about light therapy & depression and I am very interested in not only how it affects mood related disorders, but also how it regulates ones body clock and helps with sleep (which can also be a big factor in depression). Without sunlight, your body clock can become out of sync and can lead to depression. Light therapy can help by both regulating your body clock and providing mood relief during cloudy/dark days. It’s too bad more people don’t try light therapy first, before resorting to potentially harmful medications for depression and sleep. Thanks again for the great article.

  5. Doc Gerry Says:

    Thanks Bob for your comment and the additional link of information for our readers to check.


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