It is absolutely beautiful here in Boston! 68 degrees and sunny- who could complain! Two days of sixty-degree weather and I feel like a new person. It is amazing how much the weather can affect one’s mood. After a couple of days of warm weather I feel energized, rejuvenated, and my spirits have lifted. After experiencing this warm-weather high I feel as though I have gained insight to what it must be like for people who suffer from seasonal depression. Of course, after having just finished psychopathology and in lieu of my recent mood change due to the warm weather I find myself wondering, do I in fact suffer from seasonal depression? You know what they say…once you take psychopathology you find yourself self-diagnosing left and right. While I don’t think that I have seasonal depression, I definitely have a newfound appreciation for the correlation between weather and mood, and I feel such a relationship between the two is normal, especially at the start of a new season.
According to the DSM-IV, a seasonal pattern to mood disorders refers to the onset and remission of major depressive episodes at characteristic times of the year, most often occurring at the onset of fall/winter and remitting in the spring. Also, the DSM reports that younger people are at a higher risk for winter-type depressive episodes and furthermore, such episodes are more common in women than men. I find both of these facts very interesting. Why is seasonal depression more common in younger people? Why is this age group more susceptible to the influence of colder weather and darker days on mood? Furthermore, why is this pattern of depression more common in women? In search of answers to these questions, I find myself wondering if it is a matter of self-reporting. Are younger people and women more comfortable self-reporting that the weather has an influence on their mood? I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic! Feel free to comment!
To wrap up this post, I thought I would share a picture with you all that I captured this afternoon while running outside. As I ran my usual loop through the streets of Brighton and Newton, listening to Pandora on my phone, I couldn’t help but stop and smell the roses so to speak and snap a few pictures of the flowers starting to bloom around me.
I hope you are all enjoying this fabulous weather!