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Decrease in daylight time could increase risk of depression

01-10 | DTC Team

Decrease in daylight time could increase risk of depression

Changing the clocks can also trigger depression. This may appear surprising, but researches have confirmed that switching from British Summer Time to standard Greenwich Mean Time can be a real struggle for some. In fact, scientists have observed that the number of cases of depression increases after clocks go back in autumn.

A recent study, titled “Daylight savings time transitions and the incidence rate of unipolar depressive episodes,” has suggested how altering daylight saving time to standard time can lead to depression. The study published online in the journal Epidemiology in October 2016 examined 185,419 patients diagnosed with depression and their names entered in the Danish Central Psychiatric Research Register from 1995 to 2012. The researchers found that the number of patients detected with depressive behavior at mental hospitals increased immediately after having shifted from daylight saving time to standard time.

Recognizing importance of daylight for depressed people

The researchers also suggested that though the study had its basis in severe depression in mental hospitals, the transition might also trigger less severe forms of depression. The findings underscore the observations of prior studies, indicating the significance of getting enough daylight, especially in winter. This indicated the importance of spending more time outdoors or sitting at places where maximum amount of light may be available.

Though the researchers failed to point out reasons behind depression due to this transition, they suggested adding an hour of daylight to daily schedule can help in alleviating depressive behavior.

“The results should give rise to increased awareness of depression in the weeks following the transition to standard time,” said Dr. Søren D. Østergaard, one of five study authors and associate professor at Aarhus University. “This is especially true for people that are prone to develop depression, as well of their relatives, who may be the first ones to notice the depressive symptoms,” he added.

Stigma prevents people from revealing mental problems

It is not difficult for family members to note symptoms of depression in their loved ones, though most signs go unnoticed due to existing misconceptions about the mental disorder. For others, low level of awareness about the disorder may result in ignoring even the most palpable signs. Looking for warning signals and acting upon them quickly by exposing the affected to timely psychological treatment is imperative for quick and complete recovery.

The fear of stigma also prevents many people from discussing their mental health issues. Feelings of insecurity or emotions that crop up from the constant risk of backlash by the society can lead to thousands of depression cases going unnoticed. It is necessary that a person suffering from symptoms of depression seek advice from a mental health expert who can help detect the problem and help understand the roots of the problem so that further treatment can be planned accordingly.

Scope of recovery

Cases of depression are common in the U.S. and the affected need to understand that it is one of the most common mental illnesses affecting a large chunk of the American population in any given year. If you or someone you know is suffering from depression or any other mental problem, the Depression Treatment Helpline of Colorado can help. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-427-5668 for complete information about the best centers for depression treatment in Colorado. You may also chat online with one of our experts to get advice about depression treatment in Colorado.


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