Question from Viewer:
Hello, I have been suffering from chronic GAD, panic attacks and crippling depression for nearly 5 years. It’s been so bad that it led me to severe alcohol abuse for 4 years. I am now sober. I know some past traumatic events may have contributed to my condition however, I have noticed that I get seemingly worse when there are extreme changes in the weather. Are there any proven theories that weather or barometric pressure can contribute to worsening anxiety?
Answer from Dr. Carlo:
Interesting question. There is some correlation between weather changes and mood and anxiety, but there are too few studies to answer this question convincingly. From this highly cited study, rising barometric pressure was associated with increased concentration, decreased sleepiness, and increased feeling of control. So rising barometric pressure is associated with improved concentration, alertness, and confidence. There was no correlation between barometric pressure and anxiety.
With regards to other weather variables, anxiety increased when it was raining or snowing, but anxiety decreased when sunshine hours increased and the temperature increased. Concentration decreased with increased humidity. Sleepiness increased with rising temperature and humidity, but sleepiness declined with increasing barometric pressure. Aggression increased with decreasing temperature. Scepticism decreased with increased hours of sunshine and higher temperatures. And optimism increased with increasing hours of sunshine.
Answer from Another Viewer:
Hi, how you feeling? I moved to Ireland in 2005 and I never had issues with anxiety or depression before. In 2017, I started to get panic attacks and then I got strong anxiety. I notice whenever we have heavy cloudy sky or rain my anxiety is strong , and I literally feel like something heavy is sitting on me, and I get low mood. As soon as the clouds lift and the sun gets through, I am fine, like nothing happened. But I experience this only here in Ireland. And I also think it’s related to the pressure.