Dr. Nitish Priyadarshi
Recent increase in suicidal incident in Ranchi city reminds me of an old research which says that it is not only the social issue which instigates people to commit suicide but also the climate change affects our mind and body. According to the research the changes in weather sharply affects our mind it may be peak winter season, summer season or rainy season. This theory is commonly known as SAD. SAD stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder. Ranchi city is famous for its sudden change in weather.
SAD is a syndrome characterized by depression during winter months when there is less daylight. Seasonal Affective Disorder is directly related or even caused by too little sunlight, which causes the body's time clock to go out of sync, thus upsetting the body's routine, and may even affect certain hormonal levels in the body. The symptoms of SAD are depression, sadness, lethargy, fatigue, excessive sleeping, difficulty getting up in the morning, loss of appetite or increased eating of carbohydrates, thus increase in weight, decreased activity and socialization, apathy, irritability. The disorder may begin during the teen years or in early adulthood. Like other forms of depression, it occurs more often in women than in men.
There are studies that link weather with long periods of high temperatures to increase in crime. It is believed that people get irritable and hostile when it is extremely hot. Several law enforcement agencies have statistics that shows the correlation of the two. Think about how you felt if ever you had experienced a heat wave: hot, irritable, frustrated, may be even angry.
The weather can affect your mood more than you realise. "The human body, its metabolism and hormones react to the changing season resulting in changes in mood and behaviour. Just as you find yourself getting irritable and aggressive during summer, you may find yourself feeling low and lethargic in monsoon and winter.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression, winter blues, summer depression, summer blues, or seasonal depression, is a mood disorder in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms in the winter or summer, spring or autumn year after year.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine notes that "some people experience a serious mood change when the seasons change. They may sleep too much, have little energy, and may also feel depressed. People who experience spring and summer depression show symptoms of classic depression including insomnia, anxiety, irritability, decreased appetite, weight loss, social withdrawal, an increased sex drive, and suicide. Additionally, many patients are unable to cope with the increased temperatures during spring and summer.
SAD was first systematically reported and named in the early 1980s by Norman E. Rosenthal, M.D., and his associates at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Rosenthal was initially motivated by his desire to discover the cause of his own experience of depression during the dark days of the northern US winter. He theorized that the lesser amount of light in winter was the cause.
Some natural disaster like earthquake, floods and drought also affects our mind. People become depressed for several months after the disaster forcing few of them to commit suicide like farmers of India who were forced to commit suicide due to continued drought in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh states etc.
Not only weather change but also the pollution in atmosphere especially heavy metal pollution like Lead etc. affects our body and mind. Lead increases blood pressure which gradually affects our mind and increase irritation.
After becoming the capital Ranchi city is facing acute changes in atmosphere. Earlier it was the summer capital of united Bihar Jharkhand State famous for its pleasant climate but now the atmosphere is gradually becoming worse day by day. People of Ranchi are definitely going to be affected with such syndrome.