The season you’re born affects your mood, study says

Could astrologers have been right all along? New research suggests that there’s a link between the season you’re born and how happy you are. And the time of year people are born and their risk of going on to develop a mood disorder like depression, bipolar disorder, or anxiety could also be connected.

A group of researchers from Semmelweis University in Hungary presented their findings at the European College of ECNP Congress in Berlin this week. The team, led by assistant professor Xenia Gonda, surveyed 400 subjects about their personality, cross-referencing this information with the season they were born.

They found that people who were almost aggressively upbeat tended to be born in spring or summer, as did people whose moods swung frequently between low and cheerful. People born in autumn were far less likely to be depressed than winter babies, who were the grumpiest of all. (There’s no info on those of us born in one hemisphere then quickly shuttled to another, but I’m guessing we’re destined to be permanently confused…)

The scientists say that the season you’re born affects the levels of some neurotransmitters in the brain, including dopamine and serotonin, higher levels of which are associated with feeling good. Instead of being temporary, as was previously suspected, it seems that this has a long-lasting physiological effect.

What the researchers aren’t sure of is how exactly this happens, but they’re now investigating whether there are any markers in the blood that point to a link between mood disorders and when sufferers were born. This could help to identify people at risk of developing a mental health condition, and possibly lead to more effective treatment in future.

Image via Vladimir Pustovit’s Flickr.

Want to read more? We’ve chosen our 20 favourite coats and 16 favourite ankle boots to get ready for the winter weather.

If you’re more interested in getting a new camera than new clothes this season, you might be interested in these camera accessories for your iPhone, which beg the question: Do you need a camera if you own a camera phone?

Diane Shipley

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