How can where I live affect my risk for depression?

When depressive symptoms occur in the winter because of less exposure to sunlight the condition is called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). If you live in a climate that is farther away from the equator where you don't get enough sunlight when days are shorter, you can develop depression during those dark winter months.
Where you live can affect your mood (and risk for depression), and one reason for this could be stress. A study found that mood and anxiety disorders were more commonly found in city dwellers than in those who lived in rural regions. City dwellers showed more activity in the part of the brain that regulates stress than those who lived in quieter, more peaceful environments. In fact, the risk for mood disorders has been found to be as much as 39% higher among urban dwellers. Just being out in nature helps fight depression and can improve your mental health and well-being.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.