Current Study of the Month

What part of the US has always had the highest suicide rates? The West.  In California, the highest rates are in the sunniest warmest part of the state: San Diego County. And it has been this way for over a hundred years.  Now, a new study in JAMA Psychiatry provides more evidence why: It's the sun's fault.  Too much sunlight is bad for your mental health.

People tend to complain about cold weather, especially this time of year. Some may realize that it isn't so much cold temperatures that causes winter depression but a decrease in sunlight.  Even so, the assumptions are that warm weather and more sunlight are good things, preventing seasonal affective disorder (SAD). These assumptions have always ignored the flipside of winter depression: spring/summer mania, which is associated with the increase in sunlight in those seasons. Also ignored: the fact that April is the cruelest month, that springtime brings with it the highest seasonal peak in suicide.  

The sun, it appears, is as much a culprit as a balm.....

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