Many years ago I was in a hospital room with a man with ulcers. He told me that there were two bad times of the year when they were likely to hit — early winter and late winter — with the shift to and from bright summer/spring days.

The news of late has been extremely depressing and I recalled this incident and checked with Google to see whether there is any evidence of this.

Lo and behold, apparently some people are affected by the decline in sunlight which is associated with winter’s onset — it is darker now out the window from my computer.

Happily there seem to be a number of things that one can do to cope – light counseling, anti-depressants, and activities that get one out and about.

There several articles available per Google, but this one looked particularly useful and it is short and to the point, if you happen to be SAD (seasonable affective disorder) — apparently a technical term used for such depression cases:

http://www.webmd.com/depression/tc/seasonal-affective-disorder-sad-topic-overview

Ulcers by the way used to be thought to be caused by as stress, drinking, foods, etc. But now are more likely to be the result of a curable bacterial infection:

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=43451

There are some painkillers such as Ibuprofen that can be villains as well, especially when combined with alcohol.

I would certainly be particularly concerned with depression connecting with a number of the scary things facing many Americans these days such fear about job loss or unemployment, itself, family involved in military combat over there, medical costs, etc.

Obama has quite a challenge as our national leader to cope with the many things out of joint here and abroad. Happily he does not seem to be showing signs of depression to slow him down. Maybe this is the problem with some of his attackers?

I am a doctor of philosophy, not medicine! Get real medical advice if you need it.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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