EMOTIONAL CLIMATES: RITUAL, SEASONALITY AND AFFECTIVE DISORDERS

Authors


School of Psychology University of Ulster, Coleraine, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland BT52 1SA, UK. sj.harrison@ulster.ac.uk

Abstract

This article discusses resemblances between the religious symbolism of the annual cycle in certain societies, and seasonally linked mood disorders (notably seasonal affective disorder, or SAD) in contemporary Europe and North America. Two conclusions are drawn: first, that the ritual and symbolism connected with seasonality in some societies may be partly motivated by neurophysiology; second, that SAD is a culture-bound syndrome limited to societies that generate disjunctions between ‘social’ and ‘natural’ time.

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