Our stress levels are already sky high this time of the year.  We've just finished Thanksgiving and all of the hectic things associated with it.  Now it's Christmas shopping season, and pretty soon the holiday themselves will be here. Oh and don't forget winter is on the way as well.  You're already going slightly crazy aren't you?

But there are things in our every day lives that are helping our heads to sin too. The folks at Cracked have these five things for your consideration:

1) Your Birth Month. A recent study in the U.K. showed that your birth month can potentially do catastrophic damage to your mental well-being. One study found that almost every mental illness was connected to what month you were born in -- if you were born in January, you're more likely to be schizophrenic or bipolar. But if you were born in the spring, you're far more likely to get depressed. The statistics were worse for women -- females born in April, May or June were 30-percent more likely to kill themselves than people born in the fall. Researchers don't know for sure what causes this, but they say they believe it might have something to do with temperature, which can affect the way brain cells are arranged in a developing fetus.


2) Having an Older Dad. If you have an older father, his ancient sperm makes you more likely to be born with autism or schizophrenia. A study done in Iceland involving about 80-different sets of parents with no mental disorders who had given birth to autistic or schizophrenic children found that the risk of having a child with either affliction increased with the father's age (the mother's age had no effect). The reason for the increased risk is related to the way sperm is produced in a man's body.


3) Living In High Altitudes. Out of the ten states in the U.S. with the highest suicide rates, nine are Western states situated pretty far above sea level (like Utah, which sits at an average altitude of 6,500-feet). These states tend to have high rates of both alcoholism and gun ownership, as well as low population densities -- three things that also contribute to suicides. Even after accounting for these factors, however, researchers found that people who lived in those high-altitude Western states were still 33-percent more likely to take themselves out


4) Warm Weather and Sunlight. Some people become depressed during the winter, these people suffer from what's called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or S-A-D. And while the disorder is usually associated with wintertime, a small percentage of people experience S-A-D during the summertime. Only one-percent of Americans reportedly suffer from summer SAD (as opposed to the five-percent who suffer from winter SAD), but the symptoms are pretty extreme -- one sufferer blacks out all her windows like a drug-dealing Batman and sleeps with frozen bottles of water in her bed, simply because the sunlight and the heat make her abysmally depressed. The disorder affects them at a deep neurological level, keeping most victims indoors for months (even bedridden), experiencing extreme weight loss and paralyzing anxiety. Research shows that cases become more prevalent closer to the equator. Southern states in the U.S. report more summer SAD victims, and in the hottest parts of India (which you may recognize as an entire country situated almost directly above the equator), the condition is actually common.


5) Your Diet. Eating fish and other seafood has been linked to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, and other neurological disorders, and cases are most prevalent around large bodies of water, or in areas where diet consists primarily of things caught in large bodies of water. Don't run for K-F-C just yet. If you fill yourself with fatty foods and sweets, you're essentially loading your body with insulin, to the point that your brain will no longer respond to it. And when your brain can't respond to insulin, it can't make new memories, leaving you with the same symptoms as dementia. Diets high in sugar and fat can also lead to depression and schizophrenia.

The good news? It's not just a holidays thing.  The bad news?  It goes much, much deeper than that!