Thursday, 18 December 2008

Holiday Suicide Myth Debunked

One of the goals of this blog is to provide evidence-based information about adolescent mental health. Scientific evidence helps us confirm truths and debunk myths. A recent BBC article looked at some Christmas myths debunked by the British Medical Journal. One of the myths the BMJ busted is the belief that suicides are more common during the holiday season and winter months.

"The combined stresses of family dysfunction, exacerbations in loneliness, and more depression over the cold dark winter months are commonly thought to increase the number of suicides," said Dr Vreeman. But, although the holidays may be difficult for some, there is no good evidence to suggest a peak in suicides. Also people are not more likely to commit suicide in the dark winter months - around the world suicides peak in warmer months, the researchers said.

Some of the other myths debunked in the article were: there's no cure for a hangover, eating late does not make you gain weight, and sugar doesn't make you hyperactive.

 ~ D. Venn

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