Winter has received the reputation as being the season of depression and gloominess. Winter is cold, bleak, and many people tend to spend most of their time inside wishing that it was summer, or spring. Adults will stare out their office windows and think about the tragic traffic they will be in from a recent snow storm and children will look out their school window wishing they could go out and play for recess. These thoughts ultimately lead to sadness, because they will be doing things they are forced to do based on the cold winter weather. Depression is a psychological condition that leads to immense sadness, loss of happiness and pleasure, lack of sleep, and a blank attitude. According to psychologist Steven Lobello of Auburn University at Montgomery in Alabama, rates of depression does not necessarily change due to seasonal changes. Symptoms do not magnify or become more evident either.
Depression is a disorder that once is gone, can come right back. It can spring up in two successive winters, but that can be by chance. The reverse causality of this topic has to be ruled out. Just because someone is depressed during the winter, does not mean that winter has caused the sadness. Studies conducted by Kelly Rohan of the University of Vermont that looked at children, teens, and adults living in the United States and Europe, showed something else linking to depression during the winter. It is called seasonal affective disorder (SAD), that is a condition linked to depression. The depression symptoms of SAD are less intense than those suffering with nonseasonal depression. Basing off of surveys, she has sad that SAD is within 1 and 3 percent os US and Canada adults.
LoBello believed that SAD studies were improper. He took matters into his own hands and studied depression linked with seasonal pattern. Him and his investigators looked at data from 34,294 US adults and surveyed them by phone as well during 2006. People that were surveyed in the winter did not report more depression than the other people surveyed in other seasons.
A third variable that can be linked to depression is sunlight. The exposure to light comes from research in 1997 that studied people from different parts of the world with a variety of latitudes. The studies found that depression in the winter time skyrocket because people sleep through the sunlight. This does not mean that winter causes depression, the sunlight is just a factor. Minimal exposure to the natural light leads moods to decline. In order to help ease depression or SAD researchers have concluded that morning exposure to light can help increase moods. In an article it is said that in higher latitude areas winter days are shorter thus leading to a decline in exposure to sunlight. This goes against the idea that winter does not cause depression. If exposure to light decreases depression and winter time does not have an ideal amount of light, more people will be gloomy and dull.
In conclusion, there are many theories and beliefs about whether or not winter causes depression. I do not believe that the season itself causes depression, but the limited sunlight is a factor. A seasonal affective disorder is a better way to describe the mood changes when the season changes to winter, not depression.