While science believes that inclement weather strongly affects our mood, it depends on what seasonal disorder you possess.
Sydney dared to reveal a finite crack of warm blue yesterday afternoon, a momentary slip quickly covered by a grey blanket of clouds and downpour, which, as I glumly looked out the kitchen window this morning, can see that it is still raining.
While we might all hide behind the delusion of “well, we needed the rain”, the Bureau of Meteorology has promised more of the same this week. But with the drooping washing on my line matching the frown on my face, a raft of studies had proved the connection between inclement weather and our mood.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD, also, lol) is a depressive disorder where the subject is connected to the condition by a specific season of their choosing. Asking a large cross-section of people to chart their feelings about the weather over a 30 day period, four identifiable types were discovered. Summer lovers (a better mood with warmer weather and more sun), summer haters (a worse mood with warmer weather and more sun), rain haters, and unaffected. Oddly, adolescents and their mothers often possessed the same type, suggestive that we pass down our discriminations.
There’s more. A 1974 study of 16,000 students found that 18 per cent of the boys and 29 per cent of the girls responded negatively to particulate weather conditions, complaining of symptoms of fatigue, dysphoric moods, irritability, and et cetera.
Wind the clock forward to 1984, and a group of 24 men were studied over two weeks days. The study determined that temperature, precipitation and the amount of sunshine felt had the greatest effect on their mood.
Similarly, a study from 2005 discovered that pleasant weather was related to higher mood, better memory, and “broadened” cognitive style during the springtime, as the subjects spent more time playing outdoors. Per the study: “…these results are consistent with findings on seasonal affective disorder, and suggest that pleasant weather improves mood and broadens cognition in the spring because people have been deprived of such weather during the winter.”