Nativity: Seasons' Greetings

The month that welcomes a newborn shapes his personality.

By Matthew Hutson, published November 1, 2009 - last reviewed on June 9, 2016

Astrology may be bollocks, but your month of birth still guides your fate. No one is sure why birth dates affect mental traits, but environmental effects during the third trimester (weather, amount of daylight, seasonal variation in the mother's diet) are often blamed. Here's what your birth date might portend.

Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder

Hundreds of studies confirm that winter and spring are associated with a 5 to 8 percent rise in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Depression, Autism

People born in the spring are more likely to develop depression—and perhaps autism, but findings so far are inconsistent.

Morningness

Morning types tend to be born in fall and winter, night owls in spring and summer. The seasonal difference is biggest in males.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Spring- and summer-borns are slightly more SAD-prone. (In any season, women are much more SAD-prone.)

Extroversion, Openness to Experience, Emotional Stability

People born in summer are more outgoing, curious, and imaginative, and less neurotic.

Sensation Seeking

Risk-takers between the ages of 20 and 45 are typically born October through March. (Oddly, the pattern is reversed if you're over 45.)

Longevity

Depending on the study, people born October to December live between ⅓ and 2 ½ years longer than those born April to July.

 

Signs of the Times

Do the stars and science line up? Compare these to the information above.

SPRING

Aries (March 21-April 20): The ram is fiery and confident, which fits the manic part of bipolar disorder (hit), but not autism or depression (miss).

Taurus (April 21-May 21): Bulls are reliable and stable. Definitely not a match for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or depression. Miss.

Gemini (May 22-June 21): Geminis are energetic and charismatic—true extroverts. Depression and autism don't match up, though.

SUMMER

Cancer (June 22-July 22): The imaginative, compassionate crab is indeed open, extroverted, and emotionally stable.

Leo (July 23- August 22): This confident, loyal lion is also open, extroverted, and emotionally stable.

Virgo (August 23-September 22): Virgos—reliable, practical—are indeed high on stability and low on mental illness.

FALL

Libra (September 23-October 22): The charming, diplomatic Libra should probably be stronger on extroversion and stability. Miss.

Scorpio (October 23-November 22): Scorpios are both passionate and secretive. They're indeed risk-taking, but one might expect them to be more bipolar.

Sagittarius (November 23-December 21). The jovial, curious archer is unexpectedly low on openness to experience.

WINTER

Capricorn (December 22-January 20): It makes sense that the practical, ambitious Capricorn is a morning person, but why not more stable?

Aquarius (January 21-February 19): The Aquarius is the eccentric of the bunch. Sensation-seeking and susceptible to schizophrenia? Check.

Pisces (February 20-March 20): The sensitive, fickle Pisces—two fish going in opposite directions. A natural bipolar.