Is There Any Truth to Astrology?
While your daily horoscope may seem to have little bearing on your life, recent research suggests that the month of our birth may have more influence that we think. A number of studies have shown that month of birth has a small, but significant impact on the chance of developing schizophrenia, depression, alcoholism, anorexia and a variety of other psychological issues as adults. Your birth month could even affect your chances of being dyslexic.
The cause of this is believed to be cosmic, however the star in question is our own sun. Scientists claim that the amount of sun exposure during your mother’s pregnancy is the cause of the seasonal pattern. This is supported by the finding that the pattern is exactly reversed in the southern hemisphere compared to the north, where sun exposure peaks at the opposite time of year. Scientists are not yet certain of the cause of the connection between psychology and sun exposure during pregnancy, but a number of theories exist.
When we are exposed to natural light, it allows our bodies to produce vitamin D. Vitamin D plays a vital role in early brain development, and scientists believe this may cause the link between season of birth and mental health and personality traits. In the Northern hemisphere, the body struggles to make enough vitamin D during the winter months. Being pregnant during this time results in vitamin D deficiency during the child’s development, and if this occurs during critical stages of pregnancy, it may affect the chance of psychological disorders in later life. The affect of vitamin D levels are also believed to be the cause of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which causes winter depression in some people, and in some cases can be quite severe.
The Role of Hormones
Other hypotheses suggest that hormones may be to blame. Melatonin is a hormone which plays a role in regulating sleep cycles, and it is converted into serotonin when we are exposed to sun light. Melotonin levels during pregnancy could have an impact on the brain chemistry of the developing fetus, and lead to slight differences in a variety of psychological traits later in life.
There are several other possible explanations for the pattern of seasonal psychology and research into the area is ongoing. But clearly, month of birth does play a role in our lives, if not for the same reasons as ancient astrologists believed.
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