Brutal cold, short days raise risk of depression
An increasing number of people may be at risk for depression in the upcoming months, due to a forecast of brutal cold weather.
According to scientists specializing in depression, brutally cold weather places environmental stress on people who are already vulnerable, including people with post-holiday stress of seasonal affective disorder (SAD)—a type of depression triggered by shorter periods of daylight.
Winter months can be particularly challenging due to less exposure to light, which has been shown to be related to depression-causing chemical imbalances. Since bright light can serve as an anti-depressant, scientists recommend that people at risk for depression should spend more time outside during daylight hours, but to protect themselves from the cold. They also recommend opening drapes and blinds to let natural light into their homes.