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Two sunbed sessions per week might reduce suicide, depression and other mental health disorders with a yearly average of 10% in the USA and even more in other countries.

The conclusion that regular sessions in a sunbed reduce suicide is possible to make after having studied a report titled “Seasonality in Seeking Mental Health Information on Google”, in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (Volume 44, Issue 5 , Pages 520-525, May 2013, lead author: John W. Ayers, PhD, MA, Center for Behavioral Epidemiology and Community Health, San Diego, California; Directing Medicine LLC, Baltimore, Maryland).

The researchers simply used Google Trends and entered certain mental health related search-words (ADHD (attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder); anxiety; bipolar; depression; anorexia or bulimia (eating disorders); OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder); schizophrenia; and suicide).

For once, this is a research which is relatively easy to replicate for anyone with access to the Internet and it can be done in any language. (The image below shows the trends for USA during 2008, which was a year with an unusual large difference (40%) between July and December)

Google trends depression suicide_USA 2008
Google trends depression suicide_USA 2008


Here is the summary of the findings in the report:

“All mental health queries followed seasonal patterns with winter peaks and summer troughs amounting to a 14% (95% CI=11%, 16%) difference in volume for the U.S. and 11% (95% CI=7%, 15%) for Australia. These patterns also were evident for all specific subcategories of illness or problem. For instance, seasonal differences ranged from 7% (95% CI=5%, 10%) for anxiety (followed by OCD, bipolar, depression, suicide, ADHD, schizophrenia) to 37% (95% CI=31%, 44%) for eating disorder queries in the U.S. Several nonclinical motivators for query seasonality (such as media trends or academic interest) were explored and rejected.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) and Public School Review:

“Suicide (i.e., taking one's own life) is a serious public health problem that affects even young people. For youth between the ages of 10 and 24, suicide is the third leading cause of death. It results in approximately 4600 lives lost each year… Each year, approximately 157,000 youth between the ages of 10 and 24 receive medical care for self-inflicted injuries at Emergency Departments across the U.S.”

It seems, however, that CDC in general is unaware of the seasonality of depression leading to suicide. At least since the lack of sun-exposure (light-therapy in itself is a known remedy towards depression) is not listed among their risk-factors for suicide:

Risk factors of suicide according to CDC:

  • History of previous suicide attempts
  • Family history of suicide
  • History of depression or other mental illness
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Stressful life event or loss
  • Easy access to lethal methods
  • Exposure to the suicidal behavior of others
  • Incarceration

Obviously, the initiative by the CDC and the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) to further reduce teenagers' access to UV-exposure by discouraging the use of sunbeds is counterproductive to the general health among the American youth because of its promotion of vitamin D deficiency. And now, it seems like we can add more than 15,000 cases of mental health related injuries to the damage caused by the lack of UV-exposure during winter.

Whatever the PR-machine of the anti-tanning lobby is trying to make you believe about the connection between indoor tanning and skin-cancer, no research has been able to prove that regular and moderate (i.e. non-burning) UV-exposure, will increase the risk of malignant melanoma.

Two non-burning session in a sunbed with low-pressure lamps high in UVB (2.5-3% in Europe and 5-7% according to the North-American standard) will give you the same amount of vitamin D and light-therapy as 20 minutes to one hour (depending on your skin-type and base-tan) two days per week around noon on sunny summer-days by the pool somewhere in Florida.

Because of the almost fanatic campaigns against indoor tanning in the USA and certain parts of Europe, there are no recommendations for “vitamin D tanning” (in many places, tanning salons are not allowed to mention the health effects of tanning).

There are, however, recommendations of maximum session-time for each sunbed and for each skin-type of cosmetic tanning (i.e. Darkening of the skin). For “vitamin D tanning” and light-therapy, you need only half of that recommended time.

This means an even further reduction of the risk of sunburn. Sunburn being the only thing which has been statistically shown to marginally increase the risk of malignant melanoma.

So now when the vitamin D winter soon is here (and for many is has already started), why be depressed? Find a tanning salon near you which provides vitamin D tanning and try this proven method to get your vitamin D in the way nature intended it (by exposure to UVB-rays) and light-therapy to improve your mood (i.e. mental health) at the same time.

UPDATE … has a comprehensive selection of studies confirming the association between vitamin D deficiency and depression:

Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with depression in 63 studies,
The association varies between 2X and 10X less depression with high levels of vitamin D
27 intervention clinical trials are attempting to document just how much depression is decreased by vitamin D


18 thoughts on “Can 2 Sessions Per Week In A Sunbed Reduce Suicide Among Teenagers With More Than 10 Percent?”

  1. I enjoyed reading this article. I hate things that are associated with suicide. For me suicide is a stupidity and just proves that you have failed in life’s journey.

  2. From 1999 to 2010, the suicide rate among Americans ages 35 to 64 rose by nearly 30 percent, to 17.6 deaths per 100,000 people, up from 13.7. Although suicide rates are growing among both middle-aged men and women, far more men take their own lives. The suicide rate for middle-aged men was 27.3 deaths per 100,000, while for women it was 8.1 deaths per 100,000. The description of advantage of the session is encouraging one. I think this will have a positive effect.

  3. Thats a very nice step to give such lectures to the students. children are so mentally depressed with whatever kind of sadness and thinking that there are so many cases of suicide these days.

  4. Jessica Vergara

    This finding could potentially save lives. If all it takes is to increase sun exposure during winter season to help teenagers lift their moods and thus ultimately prevent suicide, 10% is a lot. I hope CDC and NCIPC would be aware of this information ASAP and make a national campaign as this is an important matter.

  5. isabelkroemerau

    Nice presentation of trends, so sad to see that American is having an increase trends particular in suicide thoughts. They really need more attention and educate themselves on how they handle their suicidal thoughts. Thanks for sharing this infomartion.

  6. Guys, don’t suicide; we’re heading to the perfection of all things and very soon pain will be done away with. I recommend the novel of Margaret Newmeli Another Dimension: The Ultimate Amalgam which can help you overcome any situation you might be going through.

  7. The sun does not only bring light but it brings positive vibes too. We all have to work on our behavioral health. If we can see the good in every situation,sad cases like suicide can be greatly reduced.

  8. Denver Psychologist

    It is sad to know that there are young ones who are already prone to suicide tendencies. I think this should be address carefully, with regards to your studies it’s good to know that you have conducted such studies that will be helpful in order to save the life of this young ones. Thanks!

  9. Mudasir khan

    This was such a good step for teenagers to save their lives and provide them a hope. The suicide rate of the teenager is constantly increasing now a days o there was really a need such a studies. I truly appreciate your this work from the bottoms of my heart

  10. Depression is truly one the major cause for suicide among teens. One of the most common type that occurs at the age of 14-24 is Manic Depression or Mood Disorder ( also known as Bipolar Disorder). If not treated properly it can last for life time. The mood swings from normal mood to followed by high energy state. Even medication may not help at times. Analyzing the the symptom and adopting proper preventive measure can help in the long run.

  11. It’s interesting how something as seemingly simply as sun exposure or supplementation with vitamin D can have such a major impact on depression level. It is also tragic how many people (teens and others) commit suicide, not realizing that there is actually a relatively easy “fix” for their problems. When one is depressed, the hopelessness and despair feel so real that it is hard to see past them to the reality that they are only temporary.

  12. Nothing could replace the natural Sun and if a sunbed reduce by 10% the real sun will do it by 4 I would say. So getting out is the solution.

  13. National Daughters Day

    This was such a good step for teenagers to save their lives and provide them a hope. The suicide rate of the teenager is constantly increasing now a days o there was really a need such a studies. I truly appreciate your this work from the bottoms of my heart

  14. this was an awesome article and I write similar articles id love for you to check it out!

  15. That’s really great information. It will definitely help especially in India where every year hundreds of kids suicide just because of not scoring good marks in exams.

    Thanks for sharing.

  16. hey name,

    Great job here on sucide. You Know what?

    I read a lot of blog posts and I never heard of a topic like this. It will definitely help especially in India where every year hundreds of kids suicide just because of not scoring good marks in exams.

  17. Knowledge in Hindi

    भले ही डिप्रेशन को इतना बड़ा प्रॉब्लम नहीं माना जाता पर डिप्रेशन भारत के लिए ही नहीं पूरी दुनिया के लिए एक गंभीर विषय है. “World Health Organisation” का अनुमान है कि पूरी दुनिया में 35,0000000 से भी ज्यादा लोग डिप्रेशन से पीड़ित है😲. इसका मतलब दुनिया का हर 20 में से एक व्यक्ति डिप्रेशन का शिकार है🙁.1945 की तुलना में आज डिप्रेशन से 10 गुना ज्यादा लोग पीड़ित है.

  18. depression treatment in meerut

    it a very big problem facing in the world recently, i am professional psychologist from Meerut, India and i know the ground truth of depression patient .

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