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Is Springtime the Most Depressing Time?

By Dontaira Terrell
Posted On Jun 08, 2016
Is Springtime the Most Depressing Time?

As the flowers begin to bloom and the days get a bit brighter, many of us relish in the sunny days and warm weather. However, there are many people on the opposite end of the spectrum who experience a much different reality than most of us when the weather begins to break.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, there is a seasonal suicide spike during the Spring. Although the reasoning is unclear, there are many scientific theories suggesting the high peak in suicidal rates during this time of year are contributed to seasonal affective disorder, social influences, and high-pollen counts.

Photo Credit: Shutter Stock
Photo Credit: Shutter Stock

Dr. Michelle Riba, professor and associate director of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Depression Center states that seasonal affective disorder is a result of, “seeing cheery people all around you,” and it serves as “a constant reminder that others are having a good time when you aren’t,” she said.

With the social media phenomenon, we all tend to experience some sort of envy as our newsfeeds are filled with magical life-altering events such as relationship milestones, major accomplishments, baby news, and so much more. In this particular case, it is not surprising to know that social influences leave people feeling blue. Naturally you want everyone to win in life but if you are struggling with internal conflicts, your smile can instantly turn into a frown. Obviously, there is no denying that the old saying, “comparison is the thief of joy,” holds undeniable truth.

Photo Credit: Shutter Stock
Photo Credit: Shutter Stock

Additionally, if you are suffering from anxiety or depression, warm weather and brighter days equal vacation time for many if not most of your closest friends and confidants. Because of this, it can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness due to the lack of structure within the usual support system as they are out and about globetrotting around the world.

Unfortunately, the CDC recently released a report that indicates within the last 15 years, suicides have increased by more than 20 percent with skyrocketing rates beginning in early April and late May. Maybe this is largely due in part to the high-pollen counts? Many researchers have theorized that increased allergens and high-pollen counts during the springtime heighten anxiety and violent behavior because it is directly correlated with inflammation.

Photo Credit: Shutter Stock
Photo Credit: Shutter Stock

If you are personally dealing with suicidal thoughts or know someone who is, please know that there is help available to you. Continue to openly discuss the adversities and daily stressors you are experiencing in your everyday life. If you are concerned about a loved one please pay attention to the early warning signs, stay in contact, provide encouragement, and most importantly be there for them when the going gets tough. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255.

“Place your hand over your heart, can you feel it? That is called purpose. You’re alive for a reason so don’t ever give up.” – Unknown