C Force from Creators Syndicate https://www.creators.com/read/c-force Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Wed, 04 Aug 2021 21:25:36 -0700 https://www.creators.com/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss C Force from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/c-force-thumb.jpg https://www.creators.com/read/c-force 0892682ed6ada6a39c948539be20aa98 The Number of Americans Living With Alzheimer's Is Growing for 07/30/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/07/21/the-number-of-americans-living-with-alzheimers-is-growing Fri, 30 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>It is easy to lose track of other major public health concerns while the news covers the ongoing threat posed by COVID-19. Yet the list of other health threats is extensive: opioid abuse, obesity, heart disease and cancer among them. The personal and societal toll of Alzheimer's and dementia certainly requires our attention. The number of older Americans is destined to rapidly grow in this country. So will the number of new and existing cases of Alzheimer's.</p> <p>Just consider the following facts provided by the Alzheimer's Association: More than six million Americans are living with Alzheimer's today. This number is projected to rise to nearly 13 million by 2050. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States saw Alzheimer's and dementia deaths increase by 16%.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">This year alone, the Alzheimer's Association estimates that dealing with Alzheimer's and other dementias will cost the nation $355 billion.</span> By 2050, these costs could rise as high as $1.1 trillion. This is why we find ourselves so desperate for a treatment to arrest the disease while clinging to the hope that science will find a cure. <p>Updated: Fri Jul 30, 2021</p> 659e7e9a6287d5dddbcb7298803e3592 Health Threat of Extreme Heat Is a Serious One for 07/23/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/07/21/health-threat-of-extreme-heat-is-a-serious-one Fri, 23 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>I have been talking a lot lately about the disorders associated with exposure to constant stress. It is time we add a completely different form of stress to this list of things we must be concerned about &#8212; heat stress. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reminds us, exposure to extreme heat can spiral into heat cramps, heat rashes, heatstroke, heat exhaustion and more. The young and the old and especially people with preexisting conditions are susceptible to the damages of excessive hot weather. Exposure can even lead to a preventable death.</p> <p>Live Science reports that June 2021 was the hottest June in American history and the fourth hottest worldwide, which resulted in melting power cables in Portland and Seattle experiencing its hottest day ever &#8212; a scorching 108 degrees Fahrenheit. Canada was not spared either, recording national all-time high temperatures three days in a row, reaching 121 degrees Fahrenheit in British Columbia on June 29.<p>Updated: Fri Jul 23, 2021</p> 25a62e0f36a4a503922357ff3a6ace8a Swapping Skyrocketing Bad Behavior for the Joy That's Missing for 07/16/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/07/21/swapping-skyrocketing-bad-behavior-for-the-joy-thats-missing Fri, 16 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Last week, I reported how what the American Institute of Stress refers to as "COVID Anger" appears to be a growing condition that is spilling out onto America's roadways in the form of dangerous, aggressive driving and road rage. It is not the only transportation sector where such bad behavior is expressing itself. </p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">According to an Associated Press report in June, the Federal Aviation Administration says that airlines have reported nearly 3,000 cases of disruptive passengers onboard since the beginning of the year.</span> As graphically detailed on social media, this bad behavior ranges from confrontations with flight attendants to occasional fist fights. By late May of this year, the FAA had investigated roughly 400 cases for possible enforcement actions. Things have gotten so bad that the airlines and unions for flight attendants and pilots sent a letter to the U.S. Justice Department urging "that more be done to deter egregious behavior," says the AP.<p>Updated: Fri Jul 16, 2021</p> 44c0188c70ec86c05da80293ba1b1902 Is Covid Anger Spilling Out Onto America's Roadways? for 07/09/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/07/21/is-covid-anger-spilling-out-onto-americas-roadways Fri, 09 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>I hope you and your family had a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July holiday weekend. If you took to traveling the roadways, you had a whole lot of company, and I pray you navigated your travels unharmed. According to USA Today projections, nearly 48 million Americans were expected to travel between July 1 and July 5 with more than 91% of them traveling by car. "It's the second-largest travel volume on record, even with commuting traffic still below pre-pandemic rates," says USA Today.</p> <p>Law enforcement officials around the country braced themselves for the surge. In Dallas, local authorities vowed increased presence on freeways during the Fourth of July holiday weekend and throughout the coming months. On June 18, the Dallas Police Department issued a statement that proclaimed, in part, that "Dallas area highways have become increasingly congested and dangerous with more vehicles traveling at high speeds and more road-rage incidents being reported."<p>Updated: Fri Jul 09, 2021</p> e802e293a1e7dba74250a9b1a52f03bd PTSD Threat Grows as Awareness Lags for 07/02/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/07/21/ptsd-threat-grows-as-awareness-lags Fri, 02 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In 2010, the U.S. Senate dedicated June 27 as National PTSD Awareness Day. Four years later, it decided to designate the whole month of June as National PTSD Awareness Month. If you missed the opportunity on this day, or last month, to support the effort to destigmatize and enhance awareness of this very treatable condition, you are not alone. It appears most major traditional national media outlets missed the opportunity as well.</p> <p>Thanks to local TV station KHOU, if you live in Houston, you might have heard how, on the 27th, some of the proceeds from 18 Gringo's and Jimmy Changas restaurants went to local nonprofit, Camp Hope. In 2019, the restaurant chain raised $52,694 for Camp Hope through this annual effort. This unique, comprehensive residential facility provides peer support and mentor-based healing for veterans suffering from trauma and post-traumatic stress. Since opening in 2012, more than 1,348 veterans have graduated from the Camp Hope program. <p>Updated: Fri Jul 02, 2021</p> 4e0330659a6a2c46d7f11e69e88dc879 Some of What Is Known of Impact of the Pandemic May Surprise You for 06/25/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/06/21/some-of-what-is-known-of-impact-of-the-pandemic-may-surprise-you Fri, 25 Jun 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>As I pointed out last week, we are marching through summer with two sets of habits: some good, some bad. Some of these habits existed before the pandemic and some were established during. This situation is sure to affect behavioral standards in the months and years ahead. However, at present, we cannot say exactly how. As for how the ordeal of the pandemic has affected the public's mental health, some experts believe that the long-term impact will not be fully known for decades. The only certainty seems to be that we are not emerging from COVID as the same people we were 15 or 16 months ago. </p> <p>As for mental health, the challenges we are facing are becoming clearer. Recently reported by USA Today, college grads are entering their professional lives depressed and anxious. "Numerous studies conducted since last March have shown that depression has spiked among college-age young adults," writes Lindsay Schnell. The fact that these graduates must now join the workforce without the free or cheap mental health care services available at college has many economists worried.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 25, 2021</p> bf6a0a27bf1cbb3c3549948cc3deae15 Parts of Pandemic Lifestyle Could Be Habit Forming for 06/18/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/06/21/parts-of-pandemic-lifestyle-could-be-habit-forming Fri, 18 Jun 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>As stated by Wendy Wood, a research psychologist at the University of Southern California, and reported by the Washington Post, we carry two sets of habits with us as we take one step closer to resuming our pre-pandemic lives. They consist of those that existed before the pandemic and those that were established during. The question is which behaviors will prevail: the good ones or the bad ones? "And we'll have to choose which to repeat," says Wood, who is also the author of the book, "Good Habits, Bad Habits." At present, it seems to be a toss-up.</p> <p>"Sometimes, it can feel like a battle when you're trying to change habits, especially when many people have been isolated (during the pandemic)," therapist and mental health podcast host Celeste Viciere adds. While bad habits have crept in during the pandemic, some existing good habits have intensified.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 18, 2021</p> 5c2e6227a78f09f1b699102555eeea14 Are We Ready to Get Real in Facing Mental Health Challenges? for 06/11/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/06/21/are-we-ready-to-get-real-in-facing-mental-health-challenges Fri, 11 Jun 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>When Naomi Osaka, the No. 2 ranked woman in the world in tennis, refused late last month to participate in post-match news conferences at the French Open because those conferences contributed to her depression and anxiety, many were critical of her actions. Tennis officials threatened to suspend her and fined her $15,000. She later withdrew from the Grand Slam event and acknowledged to suffering "long bouts of depression" in a statement.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">Since then, her actions have greatly heated up discussions about mental health "not only for professional athletes but for everyone after a year of enduring a pandemic," notes Newsweek's Lauren Giella.</span><p>Updated: Fri Jun 11, 2021</p> 7d3d96ec34e5d23e47f0fe20ca285f18 Meals on Wheels Deliveries Staving Off Hunger and Isolation for 06/04/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/06/21/meals-on-wheels-deliveries-staving-off-hunger-and-isolation Fri, 04 Jun 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In the residential neighborhood of Berwick on the east side of Columbus, Ohio, lives 88-year-old Deloris Harrington. Harrington has lived alone since her husband passed away in 2016. She now finds herself suffering from the effects of undergoing chemotherapy treatments for cancer. Last month, the Columbus Dispatch reported that, not unlike other days before, there was a knock on her door right around lunchtime. Before her was a volunteer with a hot meal in hand of grilled chicken breast, scalloped potatoes and cooked carrots, which she gladly accepted.</p> <p>"Harrington is typical of the thousands of sick or elderly central Ohioans who depend on Meals on Wheels to help keep them fed," writes Ken Gordon. "From March 2019 to February 2020, the central Ohio Meals on Wheels program has served 4,751 different customers," he adds. The program has also seen its need grow rapidly since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. From March 2020 through February 2021, its services have increased by 66%.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 04, 2021</p> 3e8703b827a8628cb00ee9faa115f71a Study Finds Trust in our Public Health System Eroding for 05/27/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/05/21/study-finds-trust-in-our-public-health-system-eroding Thu, 27 May 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>According to a new February report from the Urban Institute and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, "36% of nonelderly adults and 29% of children in the U.S. have delayed or foregone doctor care" during the COVID-19 pandemic. As noted by Healthcare Dive's Ron Shinkman, "of those who put off care, more than three-quarters had one or more chronic health conditions and one in three said the result of not getting treatment was worsening health or limiting their ability to work and perform regular daily activities."</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">Since the early days of the pandemic, there has been a widespread halt in non-emergency care, resulting in a mounting financial hit to health care providers. </span>According to Healthcare Dive, putting off care caused the normally robust health care sector to lose 30,000 jobs in January alone. In response, "groups like the American Hospital Association have launched ad campaigns urging people to return for preventive and routine care," Shinkman writes. Yet patients remain wary.<p>Updated: Thu May 27, 2021</p> a43e15f0c6c74a6fdc3af4817f726fe8 Rural Communities Left in the Lurch for Medical Assistance for 05/21/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/05/21/rural-communities-left-in-the-lurch-for-medical-assistance Fri, 21 May 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Some of you may remember a little film from 30 years ago starring Michael J. Fox called "Doc Hollywood." In it, he plays a hotshot young physician driving his Porsche cross-country to an awaiting job as a Beverly Hills cosmetic surgeon. His plans hit a detour while driving through a small South Carolina hamlet when he crashes into the handmade fence of a local judge. He offers to pay for the fence so he can be on his way, but the judge is not interested. He sentences him to 16 hours of community service at the community hospital. In what Roger Ebert dubbed "a sweetheart of a movie," Fox's character falls in love with the town, its people &#8212; especially a girl &#8212; and the life of a rural doctor. </p> <p>"Doc Hollywood" was inspired by the real story of Dr. Jim Hotz. More than 40 years ago, at the age of 28, Hotz found himself as a volunteer in southwest Georgia, then considered one of the poorest and most medically underserved areas of the south, and a member of the National Health Service Corps. This entity was created in 1972 to provide desperately needed doctors and primary care services in underserved, generally rural, communities. Upon finishing his commitment to the Service Corp, Hotz stayed for more than 40 years and is currently the clinical service director of 18 community health centers in rural southwest Georgia. In 2009, he was awarded the James Alley Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Georgia Rural Health Association for his commitment and service to rural Georgia.</p> <p>According to a PBS NewsHour report by Dr. Corey Meador, a health and media fellow at Georgetown University's Department of Family Medicine, Hotz's choice to stay on is not an unusual one. "Fifty-five percent of graduates stay in the community where they served for NHSC at least 10 years past their allotted time," he writes.<p>Updated: Fri May 21, 2021</p> d9bdb68b62f09a0161ae0184c4c5fb04 Shining Some Light on 'Cave Syndrome' for 05/14/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/05/21/shining-some-light-on-cave-syndrome Fri, 14 May 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Before antibiotics, sunlight was used to speed up the healing of wounds, according to the Sunlight Institute. "All nature including humanity is solar-powered," they go on to remind us. "Sunlight is man's primary source of vitamin D, the 'sunshine vitamin'. You get only a quarter of the vitamin D you need from your diet with the rest coming from the sun."</p> <p>"Deprived of sunlight, man loses physical vigour and strength. Take away sunlight and all life on earth would soon perish," the institute declares. In a March 2020 Wexner Medical Center report, Whitney Christian, a family medicine physician and professor at The Ohio State University writes that psychological studies "link time spent out in fresh air and sunshine to a greater sense of vitality. ... Going outside can get your brain moving, too. Even if you simply sit outside or take a short stroll, the sensory stimulation that nature provides eliminates boredom. We have a natural connection to living things. When we're out in nature, it's easy to feel like we belong in our environment and foster a sunny disposition."<p>Updated: Fri May 14, 2021</p> 603743a351d66c6e6c6df7f6c1fb645a Ways Mental Health Assistance Is Taking Off for 05/07/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/05/21/ways-mental-health-assistance-is-taking-off Fri, 07 May 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Beyond her job as chief medical correspondent for ABC News, Dr. Jennifer Ashton maintains a daily medical practice where she sees patients ranging from teenagers to women in their 80s. As explained in an interview with Ridarswear news, in the past year, her patients have begun to open up more and more about the effects stress and uncertainty caused by COVID-19 and their associated struggles with fear, anxiety, loneliness, frustration and depression.</p> <p>"They express it to me almost with this tone that they think there's something wrong with it," says Ashton. "The first thing that I do is I help them recognize that it's appropriate and it's OK. Everyone is having these feelings. ... Nothing that we are doing today or have lived through in the last year is normal." </p> <p>As Ashton points out in her book "The New Normal," it is essential that we practice self-care during this pivotal time &#8212; a time when we are looking with hope toward healing and recovery. "It's time to go back to the basics," she says. <span class="column--highlighted-text">When asked one thing she does every day for her mental health, her answer is, "I'm a big believer in meditation."</span><p>Updated: Fri May 07, 2021</p> 94bf5ffadb24dbe2ddc777b51e616cb0 On the Subject of Grief and Gratitude for 04/30/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/04/21/on-the-subject-of-grief-and-gratitude Fri, 30 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>I am writing this after hearing a fresh batch of stark and shocking news &#8212; yet another reminder of the psychological and social costs that await us in the post-pandemic world. The world's COVID-19 death toll is nearing yet another once-unthinkable number. As reported by The New York Times, "Nearly three million people have died from the virus since the first cases surfaced more than 14 months ago." The final tally will be even larger.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">As Allison Gilbert, who has written extensively about grief and resilience, states in a recent New York Times opinion piece, "The still growing death toll will leave behind millions of bereaved people, wracked by the suffering that the loss of a loved one can bring."</span> According to an algorithm developed by Ashton Verdery, an associate professor of sociology and demography at Pennsylvania State University, for every person who dies of COVID-19, nine loved ones are left behind. "A recent study found that at least 37,000 children in the United States have lost a parent to Covid-19 so far," writes Gilbert. "That grief plays out in waves across one's life and has no clear ending." The effects of grief can be as physical as the symptoms of any disease, and the social effects can be drastic as well, she adds.</p> <p>"Experts and grief organizations are asking American leaders to address this growing crisis," says Gilbert. "Grass-roots groups like Covid Survivors for Change and Marked by Covid have lobbied at the state and federal levels for accountability to relatives of victims."<p>Updated: Fri Apr 30, 2021</p> 344e5850d17e795518eff5fe454d7b61 The Price of Pushing People Toward the Great Outdoors for 04/23/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/04/21/the-price-of-pushing-people-toward-the-great-outdoors Fri, 23 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>As I recently reported, though older people have borne a higher burden of illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19, surveys over the last year are showing people aged 50 and over experience more positive emotions each day and fewer negative ones than other demographics during the pandemic.</p> <p>In this run-up to the post-pandemic world ahead, it is important to note that not all behaviors and attitudes of older Americans have been positive. Despite the uptick in positive emotions, the National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that more than 6.5 million Americans aged 65 and older are currently dealing with depression on some level.</p> <p>According to the website Aging in Place, the National Institute on Aging also adds that one factor can potentially increase depressive symptoms beyond the more common causes in older adults: isolation due to a lack of social interaction. It could be entirely possible that expressed feelings of positive emotions may be masking how some folks really feel. Aging in Place believes that many seniors are choosing to keep their sadness to themselves. "This is primarily out of fear of what their family and friends will think of them if they learn that the senior is feeling down," they report. Based on findings, it is likely that the number of seniors struggling with depression will grow in the years ahead.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 23, 2021</p> 6283be41c4cb84f1eaae56600ce7da00 More on Building a Better Normal After the Pandemic for 04/16/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/04/21/more-on-building-a-better-normal-after-the-pandemic Fri, 16 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>As we emerge from the closeted lives we have been living for the past year, trying to shed light on what the post-pandemic world will be like, we must start with a fundamental question: What will <i>we</i> be like? From a mounting number of public health professionals, the prognosis is not especially encouraging. </p> <p>There are psychological and social costs to be reckoned with. As recently reported by Harvard Health, according to the American Psychological Association, we are in a national mental health crisis that could have repercussions for years to come.</p> <p>"The past year has been hard on most of us. Who hasn't felt anxious? Who hasn't wanted to retreat from the world at times?" writes Bobbi Wegner, a clinical psychologist and lecturer at Harvard University, in a recent university blog.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 16, 2021</p> 91b57d979fb0701c6a17c940f53fa5c8 Can We Build a Better Normal After the Pandemic? for 04/09/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/04/21/can-we-build-a-better-normal-after-the-pandemic Fri, 09 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>A few weeks ago, I wrote about a report by The Zebra, the nation's leading insurance comparison site, on the growing threat posed by extreme speeding on the nation's roadways. The report spoke of how, during the pandemic, some drivers have become more likely to rage-drive as a form of stress relief, while others seek an adrenaline rush by driving dangerously fast and loose. Both situations put all others on the road at risk. When I read this, I feel anger.</p> <p>Back in February, I shared the story of Navajo Zoel Zohnnie, who, when the pandemic struck, loaded up his pickup truck with as many barrels of drinking water as he could gather and began delivering daily supplies to the elderly and disabled of his reservation now isolated in remote areas. He soon found himself joined in support by others, ultimately delivering more than 325,000 gallons of water to families in need. I feel encouraged and inspired when I hear this story.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">Such reactions, and the questions these stories raise about our response during a crisis, are not new.</span> Speaking to such concerns in a February opinion piece posted on the economic news site Foreign Policy, Ashish Kaushal writes: "If there is one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us, it is that our survival depends on society putting the good of all above individual needs. It has also shown us, however, that we often fail to reach that ideal."<p>Updated: Fri Apr 09, 2021</p> b8601e1c65294f39d3a3499d47ee2334 Experts Say To Watch the Weight and Spend More Time Outside for 04/02/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/04/21/experts-say-to-watch-the-weight-and-spend-more-time-outside Fri, 02 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>There is no way around it. During the isolating environment of the past year, we have all developed some bad habits. They have developed out of necessity &#8212; like relaxed at-home eating habits while sitting on the couch and binge-watching TV, or sitting in bed with one hand scrolling your phone and the other "zombie eating." </p> <p>Susan Albers, a psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic, says such practices fall into what she calls "quarantine permissiveness." As we now start to work our way toward the "new normal" that lies somewhere up ahead, Albers tells the NYC Daily Post that we have reached a point where we should begin to consider a return to the dining table.</p> <p>Albers explains that a nicely set table, with napkins and real plates and utensils, can reframe mealtime as a special part of the day &#8212; a time for folks to sit down and eat while giving mealtime their full attention. "Eating should be an experience and something you enjoy," she says.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 02, 2021</p> a1eec9fba2801c22176286e37030bb5c What's Driving the Turn of Our Roadways Into Speedways? for 03/26/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/03/21/whats-driving-the-turn-of-our-roadways-into-speedways Fri, 26 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>As reported in The Washington Post, a teenage pedestrian died in August after being hit by two cars along a portion of Indian Head Highway bordering Washington, D.C. It took place a few miles from where another pedestrian was killed in an incident with a vehicle the same month. In September, the driver and passenger of a speeding Toyota Supra were killed when they collided with another car on a busy stretch of Muddy Branch Road in Maryland's Montgomery County. Three people in another vehicle were said to have suffered serious injuries.</p> <p>In November, near the capital, a 53-year-old man was riding his bike to work when he was struck by a vehicle and killed at a major intersection. According to police records, he represents one of three bicyclists killed in the D.C. area last year, along with 82 pedestrians, one of which was on a scooter, another riding a skateboard.</p> <p>Transportation and law enforcement officials expressed concern to The Washington Post's transportation reporter Luz Lazo that the pandemic, which has so greatly altered our lives, is also altering the "dynamics of road safety." In the District of Columbia and its close suburbs, it was reported that deaths were up from 2019, with 249 people dying in traffic-related incidents last year.<p>Updated: Fri Mar 26, 2021</p> e76d087e12ae61619e878707b2e08246 With Less Spring in Our Step, Welcome to Daylight Saving Time for 03/19/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/03/21/with-less-spring-in-our-step-welcome-to-daylight-saving-time Fri, 19 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>During this new moment within the current pandemic, where more and more experts are imagining a "light" at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, a real beam has shone upon us. March 14 marked a shift to daylight saving time. It is that annual event where sunrise and sunset jump ahead one hour. As pointed out recently by Holly Burns of The New York Times, it represents one pandemic milestone we had not fully experienced together yet, with longer evenings and the extra sunlight.</p> <p>Some but not all experts are excited about this change. Among those seeing more sunlight as a relief is Dr. Norman E. Rosenthal, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the Georgetown University School of Medicine. "Light can cause a shift in your emotional state because it's a stimulant," he explains to the Times. "It stimulates receptors in the eye, which send signals back to regions of the brain that regulate emotional responses, possibly by increasing serotonin transmission. We know serotonin to be a powerful chemical in regulating mood." </p> <p>This is especially important to the estimated 6% of people in the United States who suffer from seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression that commonly occurs in the fall and winter months. "If you're thirsty in the desert and someone gives you water, your tongue is so sensitive to the sensation of drinking it that it feels amazing," Rosenthal notes. "For a person who's been deprived of light for months, there's a similar effect."<p>Updated: Fri Mar 19, 2021</p>