How The Seasons Of WNY Affect Our Mood


Photo Credit: NOAA

JAMESTOWN – Now that Western New York is in to June, happiness levels are expected to go up, according to a local mental health therapist.

Julie Chipman, a therapist with Family Services in Jamestown, says a person’s mood is directly effected by climate, especially here in WNY.

“Seasonal Affective Disorder​, or S.A.D., is a type of a depressive disorder which seems to occur most often in winter months or more likely, when the hours of sunlight are reduced,” said Chipman. “There is a relationship between exposure to the sun and our body’s absorption of Vitamin D and mood.”



Research has show that Vitamin D3 given to those with depression helps them keep a positive outlook.

“There has also been a ‘light therapy’ treatment for depression using full spectrum light that acts like sunlight exposure and provides mood improvement benefit to those with SAD,” Chipman said.

Chipman went on to explain that weather in general has an effect on daily moods. On gloomy days filled with rain, most people want to rest or curl up with the remote. On sunny days, folks generally spend more time outside.



For some, however, who have gone through traumatic weather events, a simple thunderstorm can cause havoc to their life.

“There very certainly is a high likelihood of alerts for severe weather, creating heightened anxiety and possibly even panic reactions,” Chipman said. “People who also have anxiety and phobias about weather events can have a very hard time as well.”

“Hopefully anyone who suffers from these problems will get into treatment and learn to manage or reduce those symptoms.”

Chipman explained that with summer approaching, at least for her, she is more aped to go outside and spend money locally.

“I think we can’t always wait for a nice day to go spend money,” said Chipman.

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