A leading Harvard psychiatrist reveals how our emotional lives are profoundly shaped by the seasons, and how to recognize our own seasonal patterns and milestones
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In two decades of psychiatry practice, John R. Sharp has worked with many people who experienced the same emotional distresses at specific times of the year—a young woman who became depressed before Thanksgiving, a middle-aged man who felt anxious about making his summer travel plans, people who made uncharacteristically extreme decisions as spring approached.
In The Emotional Calendar, Sharp reveals how environmental, psychological, and cultural forces profoundly affect the way we feel, and how the enduring effects of personal anniversaries can influence our moods and behavior year after year. Sharp also illustrates a wide range of individual responses to cultural phenomena: some people feel anxious at the start of a new school year or are undone by the prospect of tax season while others are buoyed by the start of a sports season.
Sharp shows us how to recognize the milestones on our own emotional calendars, providing guidance for how to break stifling patterns and remedy destructive moods. This empathetic and deeply resonant book will help readers reach an emotional balance for the years ahead.