Seasonal Affective Disorder affects about 5% of the population. 90% experience symptoms in fall and winter as the days grow short and cold. The remaining 10% have the onset of symptoms in summertime. The long summer days and higher temps bring on depression, loss of appetite, restless sleep, weight loss and anxiety. This condition is referred to as Reverse SAD, Summertime Sadness, Summer Depression, or Summer Onset SAD.
Causes for Summertime SAD
While it seems unusual that people can feel depressed by the happiness summertime brings to most everyone else, there are specific triggers for their symptoms:
- High Temperatures
- High heat and humidity is downright unbearable for some. They may isolate themselves by staying holed-up in air-conditioned homes, skipping out on typical exercise routines, and avoiding outdoor social gatherings.
- Financial Constraints
- With summer comes the expectation to take vacations, attend events, and go camping. Additionally, parents may have the extra burden of daycare and summer camp costs that can leave them stretching their budgets thin.
- Body Image
- With higher temps come short sleeves and shorts. If someone has a poor body image, this can create anxiety about how they look, brings about negative self-talk and embarrassment. They may forgo participating with others when invited to the pool, or parties and feel lonely.
- Disruption in Routine
- Summer is full of parties, BBQs, late night hang outs, company visiting, bored kids demanding constant entertainment. We tend to make the most of days, burning the candle at both ends until we are exhausted from cramming in as many social activities, home remodels, and yard projects as possible.
Prevention and Treatment for Summertime SAD
Make Sleep a Priority
Try to stick to a routine and get the recommended amount of sleep.
Think about the situations that might trigger you and plan to set yourself up for success. Save for expenses, make plans to keep the kids busy, etc.
Read our blog about the benefits of exercise when dealing with anxiety and depression.
Practice Self Care
Acknowledge the real events in your life and grant yourself grace for how you are handling them. Be kind to yourself. Ask yourself what you need and try to give that to yourself.
Talk to a therapist or see your general practitioner if you are feeling these symptoms. They can help you make a plan and recommend treatment. MidValley Healthcare has a team of licensed professionals to work with clients on an individual basis to achieve a happier healthier life. Give us a call today! And if you think you might be depressed, be sure to take our depression test.