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How Winter Brings on Depression and Suicidal Thoughts

Depression and depression-related suicidal thoughts can be triggered by medication, life changes and even the weather. Wintertime has been linked to depression and suicidal thoughts and with good reason. The weather is dreary, the temperature is cold and the days are much shorter. Shorter days mean less daylight. Colder temperatures mean less activity and activity is good for depression. Bad weather means shoveling your driveway, spending hundreds of dollars heating your home and battling your way through icy roads.


The summer months are more conducive to exercise than the winter months. It is difficult to get a lot of ‘accidental’ exercise when the weather does not permit it. Exercise is known to be a depression deterrent and even a remedy for existing depression. Therefore, the less active winter months are more likely to bring on symptoms of depression (one of them being suicidal thoughts) than warmer seasons. One way to combat this is to make it a point to get as much exercise as possible, despite the weather.


Exposure to sunlight is also very good for depression. That is why some seasonal depression is treated with UV light. The lack of sunlight in the winter can produce symptoms of depression like suicidal thoughts. If this is the case for you, try to spend as much time out in the sun as you can. The opportunities are less in the winter, but they still exist. It does not have to be hot out for you to get enough exposure to the sun.

Lack of Warmth

Being cold is uncomfortable and discomfort contributes to depression and depression symptoms. There are no two ways about it. If you live in an area where the winters are long and the temperatures are particularly low, the cold alone can trigger depression, if you do not tame it by staying warm indoors. Unfortunately, staying indoors is not great for depression, as indicated above.

Financial Woes

Financial woes are a huge contributor to instances of depression. Money is everything to us nowadays. It is how we eat. It is how we clothe our children and ourselves. It is how we put a roof over our heads. Lack of money can mean a lack of any or all of these things. If not being able to put a roof over your head or food in your belly was not cause to become depressed, nothing would be.

The connection between financial woes and winter comes from many things. It is more expensive to live during the winter months. Electric bills are higher because days are shorter and lights have to be on longer. Heating bills are higher because it is colder outside. Lastly, Christmas falls during the winter and Christmas is a wallet killer. Unfortunately, there is not always a way to avoid this bringer of depression.

Knowing that winter can bring on depression and suicidal thoughts is your first defense against it. Sometimes knowing the cause is a relief. It is also a great way to prepare for it. Schedule yourself some time in the sun everyday. Budget your winter to avoid being broke. Prepare for the cold weather so you will be as comfortable as possible. Most of all, know that you may have to seek help if the winter months bring on suicidal thoughts.