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Can the Start of Spring Impact Your Mental Health?

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It’s fairly well-known that as the seasons change from autumn to winter, many people experience the winter blues or even seasonal affective disorder (seasonal depression). But what about the much anticipated and welcome shift from winter to spring? If you find yourself frustrated by mental health challenges like depression, anxiety, mania, and even suicidal ideation during spring, know that there are legitimate reasons.

The nature of the shift from winter to spring can disrupt mental health in several ways:

  • Changing light: Our circadian rhythms change with the increased length and intensity of sunlight, affecting sleep-wake cycles, energy, and mood. Studies have shown that both suicide rates and manic episodes of bipolar disorder peak during the spring season due to change in our circadian rhythm.1
  • Differing routines: While it can be refreshing to be able to spend more time outdoors and do different activities, it’s still a change our minds and bodies must adjust to. A change in routine can cause or worsen anxiety and stress.
  • Expectations: Often, we feel we should be happy and active because it’s spring. The sight of other people enjoying the sunshine can make us hard on ourselves if we simply can’t muster the energy or desire to do so, too. Imposing expectations on ourselves can worsen anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders.

The start of spring can indeed negatively impact mental health. Practicing self-care and even working with a mental health professional can help you through it.

Source

  1. Cho, C-H., & Lee, H-J. (2018, March). Why do mania and suicide occur most often in the spring? Psychiatry Investigation, 15(3): 232-234. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5900367/

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Your Thoughts

Today's Question: Knowing that the start of spring can affect your mental health, what strategies do you use to care for yourself? We invite you to participate by sharing your thoughts, experiences, and knowledge on the HealthyPlace Facebook page.

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Thank you,
Deborah

Community Partner Team
HealthyPlace.com - America's Mental Health Channel
"When you're at HealthyPlace.com, you're never alone."
http://www.healthyplace.com

APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2022, March 29). Can the Start of Spring Impact Your Mental Health? , HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, June 27 from https://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/mental-health-newsletter/can-the-start-of-spring-impact-your-mental-health

Last Updated: March 29, 2022
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Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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