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Old 10-25-2012, 06:12 PM
 
8 posts, read 21,647 times
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Hi,

I suffered from a bad case of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) for 5 years when I lived in the northeast and midwest - basically unable to function from Oct to March. It's a seasonal depression that is brought on by reduced exposure to sunlight and cold temperatures. Since then, I've lived in AZ and southern CA and have not had problems. We're considering either moving to the Bay Area of California or to Raleigh NC for our work. Do any of you live in these areas and have SAD? How hard is it to live with SAD in these places?
How grey and cold are these areas?

Thanks!

Last edited by fair weather cumulus; 10-25-2012 at 06:20 PM.. Reason: additional info
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:39 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
1,983 posts, read 2,579,076 times
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I deal with year round depression so climate does affect me to some extent. There is less sunlight in the Bay Area than SoCal but more than Pacific NW or NE. It's important to live below the fog line which is close to the airport. During the winter you will get some gray days but relatively not that many. One interesting thing is that when the peninsula is cloudy you can often drive to the coast and it will be sunny.

I'm actually posting this from Raleigh, NC. Yes there are more gray days in winter but it's nothing like the NE. We do get a little bit of snow. I have to say, all things being equal, if you can get a job with decent salary in Bay Area/Norcal and can deal with high real estate prices, I would say go for Northern California. Raleigh is nice, but it seems to be a place for people to move here to retire. I plan to move away from Raleigh in the next 1-2 years either back to northern California or maybe overseas. There is nothing "wrong" with Raleigh and for people on the east coast it's a good place to live.

I grew up on the East Coast, but I prefer California. If you live on the peninsula in California you can have a great quality of life, have excellent schools, and still be close to San Francisco. Plus in California you are much closer to the beaches which can be a great for improving your mood. You have tons of great wineries and so many activities and cultural events all over northern California.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:42 PM
 
8,394 posts, read 7,474,244 times
Reputation: 8973
Invest in those lights for that disorder, why suffer.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:37 PM
 
14,572 posts, read 12,503,672 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JanND View Post
Invest in those lights for that disorder, why suffer?
This was my initial reaction...although I figured maybe the OP was already using them.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:51 PM
 
500 posts, read 615,930 times
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I don't think SJ is particularly cloudy. Though I am the type that feels horrible on day 60 of summer heat, so probably not the best judge. I was very disappointed to move here thinking we would have weather more akin to SF, and we really don't. But it is a bit cooler and wetter than So.Cal. (I also transplanted from there), but not enough for my tastes.
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:55 AM
 
1,367 posts, read 1,813,347 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fair weather cumulus View Post
Hi,

I suffered from a bad case of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) for 5 years when I lived in the northeast and midwest - basically unable to function from Oct to March. It's a seasonal depression that is brought on by reduced exposure to sunlight and cold temperatures. Since then, I've lived in AZ and southern CA and have not had problems. We're considering either moving to the Bay Area of California or to Raleigh NC for our work. Do any of you live in these areas and have SAD? How hard is it to live with SAD in these places?
How grey and cold are these areas?

Thanks!
Given that SoCal has roughly 330 days of sunshine a year, with an average winter high temperature of about 65 degrees, and San Jose has roughly 300 days of sunshine a year (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Jose,_California#Climate), with an average winter high temperature of about 60 degrees, this is like saying, "I always order the 12 ounce filet mignon. How awful is the 10 ounce?" You're comparing the 99th percentile of great weather to perhaps the 95th percentile. The midwest and the NE are among the coldest, cloudiest places in the entire country. San Jose is among the sunniest, mildest places in the entire country. In the last 12 months, San Jose has received only eight inches of rain. The idea that you would have SAD there is moot.

However, this advice is for San Jose or other more inland areas. As anywhere in California, I'd stay away from living at or near the coast, because of persistent marine layer certain times of year (May/June in SoCal, July/August in NorCal especially), and that CAN lead to SAD. San Francisco, for example, is much, much cloudier and cooler than San Jose.
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Old 10-28-2012, 04:51 PM
 
1,027 posts, read 702,053 times
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I don't think you're in any way, shape or form threatened by SAD in the Bay area. I had very bad cases of SAD when I lived in Northern locations and I had black depression, literally, with onset in late November--there's nothing remotely like that in the Bay area. More of over-abundance of sun. If you live in one of the few foggy locations sun is only a short trip (a couple of miles) away. You may experience some residual SAD in the fall, not because of location, but because your body's natural cycle--greatly mitigated by SF Bay area climate.
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:31 AM
 
14,572 posts, read 12,503,672 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tstieber View Post
Given that SoCal has roughly 330 days of sunshine a year, with an average winter high temperature of about 65 degrees, and San Jose has roughly 300 days of sunshine a year (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Jose,_California#Climate), with an average winter high temperature of about 60 degrees, this is like saying, "I always order the 12 ounce filet mignon. How awful is the 10 ounce?" You're comparing the 99th percentile of great weather to perhaps the 95th percentile. The midwest and the NE are among the coldest, cloudiest places in the entire country. San Jose is among the sunniest, mildest places in the entire country. In the last 12 months, San Jose has received only eight inches of rain. The idea that you would have SAD there is moot.

However, this advice is for San Jose or other more inland areas. As anywhere in California, I'd stay away from living at or near the coast, because of persistent marine layer certain times of year (May/June in SoCal, July/August in NorCal especially), and that CAN lead to SAD. San Francisco, for example, is much, much cloudier and cooler than San Jose.
I have never been formally diagnosed with SAD, but I wouldn't be surprised if I have it a little bit. I do have to make an effort to get out during the winter or my mood does get gloomy. SJ is sunny overall, but winters can be cloudy here...even dry winters can have a fair number of overcast days. And believe it or not San Francisco is actually sunnier in Dec./Jan. than SJ (although only by a small margin).

So, I could see that SAD might be an issue for some. And it's not just the cloudiness, but also the shortness of the day. Daylight isn't super short here, but it is noticeably shorter than in SoCal.
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:29 PM
 
Location: In them thar hills
8,040 posts, read 10,032,522 times
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Fall and Winter sun angle at these upper 30s latitudes is in the marginal zone for SAD. However, here are the caveats:
- Cloud cover (and tule / radiation fog inland) can be a factor certain Fall / Winter seasons.
- Terrain can play a role. In the far South Bay, in intermontain valleys, in canyons, in wooded areas or on NW, N and NE facing slopes your daily hours of light will be cut, and it will have an effect of being 10 or more degrees latitude further north than you really are.
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:13 AM
 
Location: California / Maryland / Cape May
1,548 posts, read 1,298,909 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayAreaHillbilly View Post
Fall and Winter sun angle at these upper 30s latitudes is in the marginal zone for SAD. However, here are the caveats:
- Cloud cover (and tule / radiation fog inland) can be a factor certain Fall / Winter seasons.
- Terrain can play a role. In the far South Bay, in intermontain valleys, in canyons, in wooded areas or on NW, N and NE facing slopes your daily hours of light will be cut, and it will have an effect of being 10 or more degrees latitude further north than you really are.
This is fabulous information. So, if you had severe SAD, where would you live in the Bay Area?
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