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Depression and Geographic location


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Anybody have input or references to how depression idps affected by geographic location. I need to move out of the darkness and wondered if there is a better destination. For example if you live in the city are you more likely ti be depressed than if you live in the rural areas. Near the coast or water versus a desert. I dont know but I believe there must be happier places, right?  Or mybe not and its all dependent on our own chemistry, and not our surroundings

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I'm not real sure but I think some people have improved mental health by moving where its warmer and the sun shines more often. I 've actually thought about moving myself a few times, but thought it's probably just me and no matter where I live until I feel better I will just drag it with me, although I do feel my mood may get a tiny bit better when the sun is shining and it isn't freezing and cloudy all winder/spring..

Sorry I wasn't more helpful. 

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1 hour ago, Extremebeginner said:

Anybody have input or references to how depression idps affected by geographic location. I need to move out of the darkness and wondered if there is a better destination. For example if you live in the city are you more likely ti be depressed than if you live in the rural areas. Near the coast or water versus a desert. I dont know but I believe there must be happier places, right?  Or mybe not and its all dependent on our own chemistry, and not our surroundings

Yes! It can indeed effect your mood. Theres been quite a few times where in my psychology and  science classes Teachers have mentioned that Locations can have an extreme effect on ones mood. I forgot which place in the world it is where they have zero Sunlight for two weeks and Suicide rates sky rocket . Usually Places in general where there is not much sunlight tends to have people in low moods. Thats also why there is such a thing like seasonal depression because so many people that usually dont even tend to deal with depression on the daily basis notice  significant dip in their mood when the colder seasons hit and the sun is not out as much. 

I dont remember Much about city vs More rural areas but I have heard that it does have an effect on ones mood as well. In general Though I know that where you live definitely does play a role in ones mindset and mood 

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Hi EB,

The question can get pretty localized; say if you live Hawaii, next to a jerk, the bets are off.  I generally agree with June, historically, Scandinavia and thereabouts have higher rates of depression and suicide.  During the 19th century the whole area and parts of northern Europe suffered from  "Melancholia."  A type of depression characterized by abnormal fears, abnormal body motions, abnormal vegetative states, real abnormal stuff, and it was more or less pandemic to the area. 

But, those people also have a lot of fun rolling in the snow naked, then running into the sauna.  And "Melancholia" ran its course, though the higher latitudes I believe still maintain higher rates.

I would gamble that moderate climates with seasons would be best.  Maybe you are in Canada now if it's dark.  I like soft rainy days, but not haze and grey weather.  I'm not much for the ocean, but love the mountains and feel better there. 

I live in Quartzsite, AZ now, where the sun and heat get out of their minds.  Extremes are bad, quieter neighborhoods conducive to happy.  High population density in urban settings has also been suggested as fostering depression for both the affluent and the marginalized barios.  For me,  foothill communities offer lots of the best in climate. 

It's a fair, but not easy question you ask.  But, if you are in a 2-3 month dark zone, I think that would be hard, so we get a lot of what are called "snowbirds" here in Quartszite this time of year.  Many Canadian.  Find an area that sounds good for you.  Unfortunately I've been depressed at time any and everywhere.  It seems that a heavy weight of  depression can trump climate, sometimes.

best, Bulgakov

Edited by Bulgakov
editing never ends
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I moved from New England to FL years ago because I couldn't stand the cold grey days of winter that seemed to last forever. It helped my mood quite a bit for a while. Getting away from the house I grew up in likely helped too: too many not-so-good memories there. However the move didn't solve everything. There's still money and relationship problems, and some ghosts of the past follow you everywhere, but overall it was good for me. 

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Thanks for all the feedback, it kind of reaffirms what I was thinking. Location does make a difference but isnt the answer. I know I would benefit from sitting on a warm beach right now, but thats because sine the snow settled in October, I wont see grass until May. Lack of sunshine effects me but we do get quite a lot of sunshine, its just more often at -20deg C.

i guess my questioning of what impacts or improves depression will continue until I have enough material to write a book, even if I will likely not have the motivation. Strangely today I felt an improved mood for a few hours despite the fact that it was snowing. Im literally bouncing of the walls to find the exit from depression, and Want to acknowledge all inputs as useful for me and hopefully others.  Thank you everyone, please keep writing on the forum, the information we share i find really useful. Peace and calm for 2019

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On 1/3/2019 at 11:54 AM, Extremebeginner said:

I dont know but I believe there must be happier places, right?

So are there places on earth where it's impossible to get depression regardless of what other factors happen?

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14 hours ago, Steveab63 said:

I moved from New England to FL years ago because I couldn't stand the cold grey days of winter that seemed to last forever. It helped my mood quite a bit for a while. Getting away from the house I grew up in likely helped too: too many not-so-good memories there. However the move didn't solve everything. There's still money and relationship problems, and some ghosts of the past follow you everywhere, but overall it was good for me. 

That's my experience too. I lived in FL for two years and while I was super excited about the sunny climate at first my depression ended up following me once the novelty wore off. It did help a bit overall but not as much as I would have expected it to. Instead of chilling at the beach like I imagined I ended up holed up in my apartment most of the time but when I did manage to go outside the nice weather definitely helped my mood.

Geographic location is kinda like meds, it can be part of the solution but is unlikely to fix everything.

1 hour ago, iWantRope said:

So are there places on earth where it's impossible to get depression regardless of what other factors happen?

I suspect it's more about culture than location but I would imagine that some remote tribes probably have virtually no depression due to very tight-knit and relatively egalitarian communities. They're still living the way our bodies and minds were designed to... 

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On 1/3/2019 at 1:38 AM, Bulgakov said:

It seems that a heavy weight of  depression can trump climate, sometimes

This is how it is for me. No amount of sunshine or mild weather can penetrate the grey pall that surrounds me. If fact, I usually feel better on grey, rainy days, because I feel like I "fit in". Sunny days only exacerbate my despair.

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6 hours ago, lonelyforeigner said:

suspect it's more about culture than location but I would imagine that some remote tribes probably have virtually no depression due to very tight-knit and relatively egalitarian communities. They're still living the way our bodies and minds were designed to... 

Yep....I doubt the Sentinelese suffer from depression...how I envy them.

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1 hour ago, LonelyHiker said:

Yep....I doubt the Sentinelese suffer from depression...how I envy them.

Would be an interesting study... If they didn't shoot arrows at everybody who approached, lol.

Perhaps it's also that everybody's life has meaning, people depend on each other in a way that we cannot even comprehend. They're not easily disposable like someone who sits in front of the computer with 100 people ready to replace him/her. At the same time the work they perform has a intrinsic meaning, as much as technology has given us affluence beyond the wildest dreams of our ancestors few of us get to be proud of the work we performed because we rarely get to take pride in a finished product so there's no real emotional reward, just money which, as nice as it can be t o have, does not provide happiness once you get above a certain amount. Recognition and meaning seem to be very important for our psyche, take billionaires like Gates or Musk who could have easily retired early and spent the rest of their life enjoying the most luxurious lifestyle imaginable and yet they chose to keep on going and taking unnecessary risks while burdening themselves with stressful work. Some people may think it's all about greed but I personally think it's about wanting to have a meaningful life and be recognized for it. 

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I do believe weather and your surroundings can play a role in your mental status---I know when winter is here, I feel more depressed because it can be so dark and cold outside, puts a damper on my mood for sure!! I always prefer the spring and summer months because the flowers start blooming and the sun comes out more and the brightness makes me feel better...I know body chemistry plays a role as well, but, the weather or surroundings just affect me just as much!! 8-]]

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5 hours ago, Paris43 said:

I know when winter is here, I feel more depressed because it can be so dark and cold outside, puts a damper on my mood for sure

The opposite end also true. I live in a tropics country so I'd GLADLY trade the all-year-round 95 deg F here for your winters. It gets so hot I'm sticky with perspiration if I don't shower twice a day, and every morning begins with me muttering "f*** the sun".

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Thanks for all the feedback, it kind of reaffirms what I was thinking. Location does make a difference but isnt the answer. I know I would benefit from sitting on a warm beach right now, but thats because sine the snow settled in October, I wont see grass until May. Lack of sunshine effects me but we do get quite a lot of sunshine, its just more often at -20deg C.

i guess my questioning of what impacts or improves depression will continue until I have enough material to write a book, even if I will likely not have the motivation. Strangely today I felt an improved mood for a few hours despite the fact that it was snowing. Im literally bouncing of the walls to find the exit from depression, and Want to acknowledge all inputs as useful for me and hopefully others.  Thank you everyone, please keep writing on the forum, the information we share i find really useful. Peace and calm for 2019

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I dont think it ever gets to 95 deg here, but i can understand how the heat is to you as the cold is to us. Today it warmed up to almost 20 deg F, no gloves required. Sunday we will be back to -10 F or cooler. At -30 deg F there is no humidity, so your skin cracks, your nasal hair which is frozen already breaks off and you have to breath in slowly or your throat freezes. Exposed skin is frostbitten within a couple of minutes.....

im talking myself into moving as I speak

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I am from a tropical country but I absolutely love snowy winters. I dislike summer for a lot of reasons people like it - very hot, sunny, the sun's out until 11. Bleh. I love a winter walk in the snow, I love that the sun sets earlier and earlier, I love the silence, I love a good wool coat lol.

I have a cousin who lives back home and she has severe depression as well. I wonder if she'd like it here. Plus I hate that sticky humid skin. Miserable imo and would not be good for my depression.

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This could all be part of the grass is greener syndrome, we see what others have and are  envious and think it would be good for us. Thus the benefits of moving to obtain warmth, snow, rain ior whatever could be real but short lived. Thus a break to such a location is what we need.

you should visit your cousin and  have her visit you from time to time, to break the isolation and help each other with a low cost / low risk option

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3 hours ago, Extremebeginner said:

This could all be part of the grass is greener syndrome, we see what others have and are  envious and think it would be good for us. Thus the benefits of moving to obtain warmth, snow, rain ior whatever could be real but short lived. Thus a break to such a location is what we need.

you should visit your cousin and  have her visit you from time to time, to break the isolation and help each other with a low cost / low risk option

I don't know her much at all, and there are various reasons we wouldn't be able to visit each other (mainly cost but also I think she's agoraphobic too). I was raised in Canada, but I did visit my home country for a month several years ago...it doesn't appeal to me.

I do agree about the greener grass syndrome, but the places I fantasize about escaping to are generally of a similar snowy climate.

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