When people think of Seasonal Affective Disorder, they think of the short, cold and cloudy winter days that keep you cooped up inside. However, there are some people who experience SAD in the summer. Symptoms of summertime SAD can include, loss of appetite, weight loss, feelings of agitation or anxiety and the feeling of isolation.
Summertime SAD Theories
It’s been known that winter SAD is connected to a lack of sunlight, however, there’s a theory that summer SAD is due too much sunlight which could possibly lead to changes in melatonin production. There is one more theory that could explain summer SAD and that’s people might be staying up later in the summer, which can throw their circadian rhythms off.
During the summer, there are a multitude of possible triggers as to why someone suffers from summertime SAD. A few possible triggers are:
- Body Image: The warmer the weather the less layering of clothes is needed. Many people feel incredibly self-conscious about their bodies. Some may feel embarrassed wearing shorts, tank tops, bathing suits or anything that shows a little more skin. People will tend to avoid social situations in order to avoid any discomfort they may feel.
- Finances: Summer is the time where many people take vacations with their families, send their kids off to summer camp and try to engage in more outdoor activities. If you’re a parent who works the majority of the week, you may find yourself dishing out more expenses to keep you kids entertaining. The increasing cost of summer fun can lead to feelings of summertime depression.
- The Weather: For many, the heat is their favorite and you can find them soaking up the hot sun. However, for others, not so much. Individuals may begin to spend more time indoors confined in their air-conditioned homes. They may skip their outdoor strolls or bike rides due to the humid weather or begin ordering not so healthy take-out food because it’s too hot to cook – which could all lead to summertime SAD.
No matter the time of year, if you being feeling symptoms of summertime SAD, it’s crucial to speak to someone that can help guide you through it. Never assume symptoms of depression will just dissolve on their own. What may start as “summertime” SAD could potentially turn into longer lasting depression. Even if your summertime SAD will resolve itself come September or October, there is no reason anyone has to suffer through it. A temporary depression can have potential lifelong consequences on your work and personal environment.
At Viewpoint Psychology and Wellness, we understand that our clients come to us during a very difficult period in their lives. Which is why we aim to provide a therapeutic environment that includes the support and guidance needed to create a positive and uplifting change. Whether you or someone you know is seeking therapy and counseling, psychological assessment, diagnosis and testing, medication management or are interested in a health and wellness-based model, we are here to address your concerns and provide effective treatment. Our focus is on the needs of our clients and how we can help them achieve their goal.