Mood States at 1600 and 4300 Meters Terrestrial Altitude,
ARMY RESEARCH INST OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE NATICK MA
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Personal anecdotes suggest that ascent to high altitude can cause mood changes such as depression, apathy, and drowsiness. Behaviors at high altitude indicate that people can become more arguementative, irritable, or euphoric. Since there are few systematic and quantitative studies assessing the effects of altitude on mood, this study compared moods at two different altitudes and times of day morning - evening using a standardized scale. The Clyde Mood Scale was used twice daily to determine self-rated moods in 19 males and 16 females. Baseline values were determined at 200 m moods were then assessed at 4300 m with one group and at 1600 m with a second group. Friendliness, clear thinking, dizziness, sleepiness, and unhappiness were affected at 4300 m. Only sleepiness changed at 1600 m. At 4300 m, moods differed from baseline on the day arrival 1-4 hours, differed even more after one day 18 - 28 hours, and returned to baseline levels by day 2 42 - 52 hours. Morning and evening values did not differ at 200, 1600, or 4300 m, except for sleepiness at 4300 m. Therefore, mood states have a characteristic time course at altitude which is similar to that for acute mountain sickness symptomatology.
- Medicine and Medical Research