The Weather and Depression
With summer nearly upon us, I thought today we would look at the effect the weather has on our mental state. The May Day Bank Holiday weekend could be described as a wash out. Rain, cold, really rather unpleasant. There is a common joke in the UK about bad weather and the bank holiday’s. What a difference a week makes.
I spent a bit of time over the weekend in Alexandra Park in Manchester in the glorious sunshine. Other than looking at the ducks (a favourite past time of mine since boyhood), I wanted to observe the people in the park. With the sunshine the shorts and t-shirts came out, the children were playing, but something more interesting could be observed, the way people were interacting.
Big smiles, laughter and a friendliness which I believe only comes out in the good weather. I began to muse how these people would have behaved just a week ago, when it was cold and wet out. I think there can be little doubt that the weather has an effect on our general mood, but more profoundly for people who are prone to depression. Whist for many, inclement weather is unpleasant, but we carry on regardless, for the depressive the weather is a manifestation of their mental state.
Many people discount this effect of the weather, but I strongly urge people to be mindful of the effects of the weather on mental health and to take it seriously.