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Don’t blame winter for that bleak mood

Incidence and severity of major depression not linked to changes in season

7:00am, February 8, 2016

DARK DAYS  A controversial new study concludes that major depression does not afflict more people during winter months.

Winter doesn’t deserve its dour reputation as the season of depression, scientists say.

Rates of major depression, a psychiatric condition marked by intense sadness, hopelessness, insomnia and a general loss of interest or pleasure, don’t markedly change from one season to another among U.S. adults, says a team led by psychologist Steven LoBello of Auburn University at Montgomery in Alabama. Neither do symptoms intensify or become more numerous during winter among those already suffering from depression, the researchers report online January 19 in Clinical Psychological Science.

A small number of people with regular fall or winter depression may have gone undetected in the new study, which surveyed more than 30,000 U.S. adults. Still, it’s becoming harder to justify the current psychiatric diagnosis of major depression “with seasonal pattern,”

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