Health

Polar night drives mad

The entire specter of psychic dysfunctions is observed in Norilsk, a Russian polar city: schizophrenia, epileptic diseases, and organic level brain damages. Hypertonic, atherosclerosis, and post-insult conditions only worsen those mental infringements.

Most suffering of such illnesses are workers of “Norislky Nikel” – miners and metallurgists. Hard, demanding work, over exhaustion, cardiology problems and alcohol abuse make them frequent local psychiatrists. “Ecology is the whip here, and this is the reason for children’s backlogs in intellectual development, their unstable behaviour”, claimed recently a Norilsk psycho-neurology hospital doctor Vladimir Zhukov. “Birth of a baby in Norilsk is seen to be a bad factor, and such kids should receive for attention”.

Psychic diseases are further enforced here by geographical displacement and climate: the region’s isolation, long polar night, darkness, grayness of colours. For normal, harmonic emotional condition human needs positive stimuli: sun, green grass, flowers. This is absent in Norilsk, and depressions are common. To worsen this, alcohol and drug abuse: a rare week pass with no “heroin arrests”. Psychiatrists believe that there exists a so called “polar pressure symptom” in Norilsk.

Torn off the main land, forced to stay most of their leisure time in houses by unbearable cold, people develop feelings of cage, monotony, hopelessness. Poor emotional stimuli lead in the end to worries, headaches, sleeplessness, bad appetite and arterial pressure fluctuations.

Psychiatrists alone can not solve all these problems. They advice people to change their attitude to life: switch their attention from material values to spiritual, artistic, self-development and harmonization of the inner world. But very few people come to Russia’s North for meditations and inner harmony search…

Alexander Kolotov
“Ineco”

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