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Surprising Science

Why Are There More Suicides in the Spring?

Since the 1820s, scientists have observed an increase of suicides in the spring. The trend has been recorded in dozens of countries around the world. The most suicidal month is May, when rates go up by 50-percent. Why is pleasant, flowering spring the cause of such an alarming statistic? 


Spring is considered a happy season of renewal. Gardens bloom. Ducklings can often be spotted following their mothers around in parks. And the sun is out and shining longer.

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The sun may be the culprit.  As the weather turns pleasant, the sun triggers an increase of our serotonin levels, the happiness hormone. We start making plans for the future, feel an overall sense of well-being. In short, serotonin helps us be more outgoing and productive. 

But a rise of serotonin in people suffering from depression may lead them to focus aggression inwards. Especially after the drabness of winter, they’re more likely to be active, and take steps toward committing suicide. So far, that’s the leading theory, as DNews explains in this video:

Image credit: Shutterstock


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