Can the Rain Make You Depressed?

Medically Reviewed on 3/9/2022
Can the rain make you depressed
Studies show that there has long been a correlation between mood and weather.

There has long been a correlation between mood and weather, according to popular studies. Some of us can tolerate the rain. Others aren't content unless they can feel the warm light of the sun on their skin. Surprisingly, studies have reported that weather reactivity may run in families.

According to one study, approximately nine percent of adults consider themselves “rain haters.” On days with higher precipitation, this group feels angry and less happy. This explains the rainy-day melancholy of wanting to sit on the couch and do nothing; our bodies produce less serotonin, which affects our mood.

  • General associations with the weather could explain moods:
    • Most doctors advise us to be cautious when looking for an explanation for how we are feeling. Doctors believe that the change in moods based on the weather scenario is due to how we perceive the weather.
    • For example, if you enjoy summer because it's when you visit friends, arrange activities and go on vacation, it's understandable that you feel down when it rains.
    • It relies on your origin and what the extreme weather means to you and your sense of well-being.
    • For example, a drought-stricken farmer will most likely be relieved that the scorching weather has ended. The ice-cream salesperson will have a different perspective on the same rainy day.
  • Extreme weather has a proven negative effect on our well-being:
    • Many specialists believe that this widespread depression is not an unusual occurrence.
    • Some people with preexisting mental health issues report that the weather either worsens or improves their symptoms.
    • This is most likely because harsh weather may be exceedingly stressful, and stress can worsen disease symptoms.
    • For example, it is much more stressful traveling home from work on an underground train when the temperature is 36°C than when it is raining.
    • Stress can aggravate various preexisting mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • Weather phobia:
    • Other mental health disorders associated with changing weather include phobias.
    • 1 out of every 10 Americans is afraid of certain types of weather such as thunder and lightning, as well as meteorological phenomena such as flooding and tornadoes.
    • Doctors believe this weather can be exceedingly uncomfortable and stressful for people with these problems.
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD):
    • SAD is a disorder characterized by depression according to seasons.
    • SAD is a type of depression that appears and disappears in a seasonal pattern.
    • The essential point about SAD is that people who have it experience depressive symptoms only under certain weather conditions.

Bad weather and dark clouds tend to make individuals more depressed, causing them to cancel plans or stay home. Sunlight boosts the formation of vitamin D and serotonin, a natural substance that combats depression by improving energy and happiness.

16 common signs and symptoms of SAD

Weather changes might affect one's emotions. The most prevalent type occurs when people are depressed throughout the winter. This is referred to as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This is assumed to be due to a decrease in sunlight throughout the winter (and not the cold). As a result, the dark overcast skies may trigger depression symptoms.

SAD symptoms are comparable to normal depression symptoms; however, they occur regularly at a specified time of year. The nature and severity of SAD vary from person to person.

16 common symptoms of SAD include:

  1. Feeling sleepy during the day and having difficulty getting out of bed in the morning
  2. Strong desire for carbohydrate-rich foods
  3. Depression (feeling sad, miserable, guilty, hopeless, despair and apathy and having low self-esteem)
  4. Anxiety
  5. Desire to oversleep and difficulty staying awake or, sometimes, disturbed sleep and early morning waking
  6. Lethargy or fatigue
  7. Irritability and desire to avoid socialization
  8. Loss of libido and decreased interest in sex
  9. Unable to enjoy things that usually bring you pleasure
  10. Feeling sluggish, heavy, or agitated
  11. Difficulty concentrating on daily tasks
  12. Having thoughts of death or suicide
  13. Problems with school or work
  14. Problems in relationships
  15. Feelings of boredom and loneliness
  16. Physical problems, such as headaches and weight gain

Fall and winter SAD:

Four symptoms unique to the winter season or winter depression may include:

  1. Oversleeping
  2. Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
  3. Weight gain
  4. Tiredness or low energy

Spring and summer SAD:

Summer-onset SAD or summer depression can cause four symptoms such as:

  1. Insomnia (trouble sleeping)
  2. Poor appetite
  3. Weight loss
  4. Agitation or anxiety

Seasonal changes in bipolar disorder:

  • In certain people with bipolar disorder, spring and summer can cause mania or a milder type of mania (hypomania), whereas fall and winter might cause depression.

If you are having any of these symptoms and are unable to find relief, you must consult a doctor or therapist.


Depression is a(n) __________ . See Answer

What are the treatment options for seasonal affective disorder?

Symptoms normally improve as a new season begins, whether it's winter to spring or summer to fall. However, if you are predisposed to seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or have already had symptoms, it is vital to learn to recognize and manage them so that you can prepare for the changing seasons:

  • Being conscious of seasonal variations (this may assist you in being more aware of mood swings)
  • Getting regular exercise and following the same wake-up and sleep habits daily (even on the weekends)
  • Providing your body with healthy and nutritious foods (this will help you stay energized throughout the day)
  • Ensuring to receive good natural light by having lunch outside rather than at your desk, open curtains near your workplace or home, and sitting near to windows that let in a lot of light

In addition to developing a healthy lifestyle and sleep regimen, some of the most prevalent SAD treatments include:

  • Medication:
    • Medications, on their own or in combination with other therapeutic modalities, are incredibly successful.
    • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are antidepressants that are often used as the first-line treatment for SAD. They are known to help increase serotonin levels in the brain, which can boost your mood.
  • Light therapy:
    • The basic assumption of this sort of treatment is that increased exposure to bright, artificial light during the fall and winter months can help ease the symptoms of winter-related SAD.
    • The treatment usually recommends sitting in front of a lightbox that emits 10,000 lux of cool-white fluorescent light for 20 to 60 minutes every morning.
  • Vitamin D:
    • A blood test can be used to assess your vitamin D levels, and the doctor may recommend supplementation if improving your levels through diet alone is challenging.
    • Vitamin D supplementation is generally regarded as a supplemental therapy for SAD.
  • Psychotherapy: There are many different types of talk therapies.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT):
    • Helps guide your behavior and mental processes to learn to focus on and solve difficulties
    • Teaches you how to recognize negative ideas and replace them with good ones, as well as how to manage SAD symptoms

In studies, light therapy and CBT were found to be comparatively beneficial for SAD during an acute depressive episode, and both might be considered therapeutic alternatives.

In conclusion, rainy weather over an extended period might lead to depression in some people, and it is not rare.

  • We require sunlight to convert vitamin D to the active form.
  • Vitamin D affects serotonin levels in the brain, which account for mood swings. 
  • Serotonin is a hormone that is vital for mood control.
  • Depression-like symptoms are more likely when serotonin levels are low, especially during the rainy season, which is one of the characteristics of seasonal affective disorder.

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Medically Reviewed on 3/9/2022
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Seasonal Affective Disorder:

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD):