Meltdown! If you think the heat is making you crazy, you're probably right
By Helen Anders
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
A University of Arizona study found that the hotter it is, the more likely you are to honk your car horn at somebody (and, one must assume, the more likely that person is to return a salute of his or her own.)
And a University of Michigan study concluded that the hotter it is, the more Major League Baseball batters get hit by pitches.
We don't need a study to tell us that heat prompts us to make excuses for practically everything. "It's too hot," we say, to work out, cook, walk the dog, join a friend for lunch, shop ... you name it.
What we're suffering from here is cabin fever on the scale of a North Dakotan winter. We hunker down in the air conditioning. We emerge only to get into our cars, turn on the air conditioning, go to our air-conditioned jobs, return home and re-hunker.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness calls the syndrome seasonal affective disorder, whose acronym is the highly apt SAD. Most cases happen in winter, but the alliance says 10 percent happen in the summer. People get depressed, can't sleep, don't want to eat and get all agitated.