Depression and weather
I’ve always been interested in the nature vs nurture debate, and have pretty much come to the conclusion that it’s a mixture of the two. Although genetics can result in certain traits, the environment has undeniable effects on a person. One example of this relationship between external factors and one’s mental state is how the weather affects depression. During the winter of my second year at university, I fell into extended depression for the first time. Of course, I’m not saying the weather is the only responsible element for my mental state but it was a major factor. The winters in England are famously known for being brutal with their sub-zero temperatures and bitterly dark nights. Because it was so cold, I never had the motivation to leave the house and thus, barely went to classes during the winter. This in turn, affected my studies and I knew I had to do something before I was permanently affected. Alongside, it got dark extremely early so I never wanted to be outside after lunch. It’s amazing how the environment can affect someone so easily. And I know the weather has a part in it because I immediately felt better once spring arrived. I’m more motivated to go outside and do things such as exercise and hanging out with friends.
Last year, I didn’t particularly have this problem because I was in student accommodation where the heating was on 24/7. Even the GP and my counsellor agreed that weather can alter one’s moods so there’s definitely a correlation. However, it’s important to realise that correlation doesn’t mean causation. But it is something to keep in mind if you ever feel low during the coldest season. What kept me going, along with getting professional help, was the idea that it would kept warmer soon. It sounds cheesy, but I was looking at a silver lining. So hang on in there and don’t be afraid to ask for help. At first, I thought it was silly how powerful the weather could be on me but it makes sense when you think about it, isn’t it? Luckily, it’s May now and the weather is gradually getting better - so enjoy it while it lasts, and go have fun!