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