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Does summer mean a decrease in mental health problems?

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sun-summer-mentalhealth-kidspeaceBy Kristen Fritz


Not only does winter bring snow and cold weather, but it also brings depression, mood swings and mental disorders. A new study was done that looked at and observed the search patterns of Google inquiries. Apparently, winter is a time where mental illnesses tend to increase. Who would have thought? We look forward to the summer not only for the sunshine, warmth, and the beach, but to bring positive thoughts and feelings.


The study appears in the May issue of The American Journal of Preventive Medicine. In both the United States and Australia, researchers found distinct seasonal patterns, high in winter and low in summer, in searches pertaining to anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, depression, suicide, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and schizophrenia.


Searches related to eating disorders varied the most — 37 percent higher in winter than summer in the United States and 42 percent higher in Australia. The smallest variations were in searches related to anxiety: 7 percent and 15 percent more common in winter than summer in the United States and Australia, respectively. The variations persisted after the researchers controlled for seasonal differences in Internet use, mentions of the diseases in news articles and other factors.


Such things as varying hours of daylight, variations in physical activity and seasonal changes in blood levels of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids are known to affect the mood of a person.


I think I can speak for everyone when I say, bring on the summer time!

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