The psychological impact of the weather

DECRYPTION – Often trivialized, seasonal depression is not trivial.

There are those who, like the character of Woody Allen in Annie hall, prefer the New York rain to the Californian sun. And then there are all the others, a majority of French people, who count the days when the skies are low and feel their morale drop when the gray sets in. But can the gloomy weather that marked the spring and the beginning of summer go so far as to trigger seasonal depressions?

“There is a real impact of the conditions on mood, some patients report symptoms, but we have not noted relapses of depression in the clinical sense of the term”, reassure the Dr Hélène Richard-Lepouriel, head of the mood disorders unit at Geneva university hospitals. The Pr Michel Lejoyeux, psychiatrist, also wants to be reassuring: “It is normal to be sad, disappointed or gloomy in the face of weather that prevents us from doing what we planned, but it is not pathological. As long as you’re bitching about the weather, that’s a pretty good sign! And the best way

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