As you probably know, May is Mental Health Awareness month. Importantly. Mental illnesses are much more common than you may think and often go on undiagnosed, leaving the sufferer feeling hopeless and defeated.
It is not hard to figure out, from personal experience, that we seem to always feel better when the sun is shinning, especially here in Eastern Canada. But does mother nature really have anything to do with depression? Well, perhaps when it comes to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) it does, but is the way to mental health paved with light therapy and exposure to warm weather? It’s not that simple.
Weather does affect our outlook on life to some level. But oftentimes, weather is not the real cause, but is simply correlated to events that happen as a result of the weather. For example, when it’s cold, we tend to stay in, hibernate, not move enough, find comfort in foods that make us feel warm and fuzzy, all of which can affect our moods. Extra financial burdens arising from higher costs in heating, overspending during the holiday seasons or even car troubles can also contribute to making us feel down.
When it is too hot, similar things happen. Higher temperatures lead to lack of sleep, which in turn lead people to get impatient and at times even violent. The degree of tolerance is greatly diminished. Depressed people will get more depressed.
But when the weather is perfect, when it’s nice, we get out, we take walks, we are more inclined to buy which, in turn, stimulates the economy. I have been told by friends in the real estate world that spring is the best time for home sales. Spring is also a great time in my web design business. Spring brings forth new flourishing ideas.
But back to mental health now.
I do believe that weather impacts each and everyone of us to some degree. However, I also believe that when you suffer from mental illness, real mental illness, no amount of sunshine will make you feel better. As someone who did suffer from major depression once when I was younger, I can tell you that It’s a deep dark place where you can feel very alone. I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy.
The good new is you are NOT ALONE! There is hope! There is help! It can and will get better!
Join me this month in raising mental health awareness. Let’s remove the stigma surrounding this topic. If you suspect someone in your entourage to have mental illness, take action. Attend the various events that will take place around town. If you think you might have mental illness, don’t hesitate and seek help. There are many possible causes of depression, but like with any other illness, this is your body telling you something is not functioning properly. If you were diabetic, would you refuse insulin? If you had high blood pressure, would you refuse medication to lower it? Depression is just another medical condition which can be improved, if not cured, with the proper help.
For more information, visit https://www.cmha.ca/
“Mental illness turns people inwards. That’s what I reckon. It keeps up forever trapped by the pain of our own minds, in the same way that the pain of a broken leg or a cut thumb will grab your attention, holding it so tightly that your good leg or your good thumb seem to cease to exist.” ― Nathan Filer, The Shock of the Fall