As darker days approach, it’s time to take seasonal depression seriously – The Guardian

‘People already suffering from the mental health effects of a pandemic will find their unhappiness amplified during the coming shorter, darker days.’ Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

“Melancholy occurs in autumn, whereas mania in summer,” wrote the Greek philosopher Posidoniusaround 100BC. The ancient Greeks were well aware of the toll that winter darkness could take on mood, as were ancient Chinese and Indian societies. Hippocrates wrote of seasonal depressions in 400BC; Greco-Roman physicians were using a form of sunlight therapy in the 2nd century. Though seasonal affective disorder (Sad) was only named in the 1980s, the effects on mood of “hideous winter” – Shakespeare wasn’t much of a fan either – long predate it.

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