S.A.D., ADD, OCD – Are we all affected?

A friend from Europe pinged me a few months ago to see if I wanted to connect him with someone who could distribute SAD lighting here in the US.  (SAD apparently means Seasonal Affective Disorder.)  Before even responding, I talked to a chief medical officer I know to validate the condition and the effect of lighting.

But, it made me wonder…are there some diseases that many people have to a lesser degree that we rationalize in different ways.  If people with SAD are depressed and have less energy in the winter due to lack of lighting, is this what many others simply refer to as the winter blues and just take for granted?  I can think of lots of people who are different in the dark winter months when they are inside.

For that matter, for people with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), focus is a challenge, but many of our most creative and innovative people are people who thrive in some chaotic form and come up with new ideas (e.g., story about CEO with ADD).  Do they all have ADD or some mild form of ADD?  (CBS article)

I could go on, but let’s look at one more – OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).  People with this condition can’t help themselves with certain actions – e.g., washing their hands until they bleed.  But, there are lots of people who are considered meticulous or anal retentive who get rewarded for their focus on detail and ability to do mundane tasks repeditively with little error.  Do these people have a mild form of OCD?

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