Season Can Affect How We Feel and Act

Vijai P. Sharma, Ph.D

Most people experience a change in their mood and behavior with the change of the season. These seasonal changes, especially the “winter blues,” or “February blahs, “at the onset of winter, may be a nuisance for some and real problematic for many others.

Seasons can cause changes not only in mood, but also in the energy level, sleeping, eating, social and sexual behavior. This is not a new knowledge. For ages, spring has been associated with joy, passion, and reawakening. Shakespeare said, “Sweet lovers love the spring.” We know that for many of us spring outbursts in a “spring fever” or frenzy of “spring cleaning.”

Valentine Day is as much an attempt to beat the winter blues as it is to celebrate the “passion of spring.” On the other hand, winter with its darkness, cold, denuded trees, unfriendly winds, and lonely confinement, can cause depressed mood and other symptoms of depression. We avoid the “cold” people and seek the “warmhearted.” Incredibly, the mental health field has only recently recognized the relationship between seasons and mood disorder, “Seasonal Affect Disorder,” appropriately abbreviated, “SAD.”

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