Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 177–186

Myths of mid-winter depression

  • Russ Christensen
  • Peter W. Dowrick

DOI: 10.1007/BF00759551

Cite this article as:
Christensen, R. & Dowrick, P.W. Community Ment Health J (1983) 19: 177. doi:10.1007/BF00759551


An investigation was conducted into the effect of a major Alaskan annual winter festival upon the rates of crisis data. Analysis of rates of suicide, attempted suicide, family disturbance calls, crisis calls, and mental health admissions indicated no significant effect of the festival. Statewide statistics over several years indicate that demands for depression-related services appear to peak in either the summer or the fall. These results do not support the widely held belief that depression is more common during the winter in the North or that mid-winter festivals help to promote psychological well-being. It is concluded that the pervasiveness of such myths may lead to misdiagnosis or mistreatment, and that other folklore should be examined for its validity.

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Russ Christensen
    • 1
  • Peter W. Dowrick
    • 2
  1. 1.Developmental disabilities ProgramsPresbyterian Medical ServicesFramington
  2. 2.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of AlaskaAnchorage

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