Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 177–186 | Cite as

Myths of mid-winter depression

  • Russ Christensen
  • Peter W. Dowrick
Articles

Abstract

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.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Abbott, A. P., & Kehoe, J. P.. Mental health practices in the Yukon.Canada's Mental Health, 1972,20 (1), 4–10.Google Scholar
  2. Alaska calendar 1981,Alaska Magazine, 1980XLVII (12), Cl-5.Google Scholar
  3. Alaska travel special,Alaska Magazine, 1982 XLVIII (2), T38.Google Scholar
  4. Albin, R.. The holiday blues — a Christmas fable?Psychology Today, 1981,15, (12), 10–11.Google Scholar
  5. Al-Issa, I.The psychopathology of women. Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice Hall, Inc. 1980.Google Scholar
  6. Allodi, F. A., & Eastwood M. R. Suicide in Canada — trends and preventive aspects.Canada's Mental Health, 1973,21 (5) 15–16.Google Scholar
  7. Alvarez, A.The savage god: A study of suicide. New York: Random House, 1972.Google Scholar
  8. Atcheson, J. D. Problems of mental health in the Canadian arctic.Canada's Mental Health, 1972,20(1), 10–17.Google Scholar
  9. Avery, R. R. Seasonal variation of calls to an urban crisis center in Anchorage, Alaska Unpublished Masters Thesis, University of Alaska, Anchorage, 1980.Google Scholar
  10. Bollander, A.-M. Nordic suicide statistics. In: J. Waldenstrom, T. Larsson & N. Ltungstedt (Eds.)Suicide and attempted suicide. Stockholm: Nordiska Bokhandelns Forlag, 1972.Google Scholar
  11. Conklin, E. E. Fun and furs fly at city celebration.The Anchorage Times, February 8, 1981, p. E-10.Google Scholar
  12. D'Arcy, D., & Schmitz, J.A. Sex differences in the utilization of health services for psychiatric problems in Saskatchewan.Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 1979,24, (1), 19–27.Google Scholar
  13. Durkheim, E.Suicide: A study in sociology (J. A. Spaulding & G. Simpson trans., G. Simpson ed. Glencoe, IL: The Free Press 1951 (Originally published, 1897.)Google Scholar
  14. Eastwood, M. R., & Peacocke, J. Seasonal patterns of suicide, depression and electroconvulsive therapy. British Journal of Psychiatry, 1976,126, 472–475.Google Scholar
  15. Eastwood, M. R., & Stiasny, S. Psychiatric disorder, hospital admission and season.Archives of General Psychiatry, 1978,35 (6) 769–771.Google Scholar
  16. Eisler, D. A spring of discontent is more than cabin fever.MacLeans. 1979,92 (22), 39.Google Scholar
  17. Greater Anchorage, Inc.46th annual fur rendezvous, Anchrage Fur Rendezvous, 1980.Google Scholar
  18. Hillard, J. R. & Buckman, J. Christmas depression.Journal of the American Medical Association. 1982,248 (23), 3175–3176.Google Scholar
  19. Lazarus, R. Little hassles can be hazardous to health,Psychology Today, 1981,15 (7), 58–62.Google Scholar
  20. MacKinnon, A. A., & Neufeldt, A. H. A survey of mental health “north of 60”,Canada's Mental Health, 1974,22 (1), 3–6.Google Scholar
  21. McCullock, J., & Philip, A.Suicidal behavior, Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1972.Google Scholar
  22. Montooth, S. The spring crisis.Coping, 1980, Spring, pp. 16–17, 29.Google Scholar
  23. Neuberger, R. L. Beating the Alaskan bush. In E. Gruening (Ed.)An Alaskan reader 1867–1967. New York: Meredith Press, 1966.Google Scholar
  24. Parkin, M. Suicide and culture in Fairbanks: A comparision of three cultural groups in a small city of interior Alaska.Psychiatry, 1964,37, 60–67.Google Scholar
  25. Penfold, P. S. Women and depression.Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 1981,26 (1), 24–31.Google Scholar
  26. Perala, A. Fur Rendezvous: A winter celebration for 46 joyful years.Anchorage Daily News, February 14, 1981, p. K-3.Google Scholar
  27. Phillips, D., & Liu, J. The frequency of suicides around major public holidays: Some surprising findings.Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 1980,10(1), 41–50.Google Scholar
  28. Smith, R. S.The frontier states. New York: Time-Life, 1968.Google Scholar
  29. Stout, J. Save the Fur Rondy.Anchorage Daily News, April 3, 1982, p. G-2.Google Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations