The summer is usually associated with happiness and playfulness with it being an anticipated season by adults and children worldwide and it’s a long awaited slice of year that gives warmth.
And although this may be the case for most people it’s not quite the case for some who are affected by summertime SAD which is seasonal affective disorder. And while SAD is more prevalent for people in the winters, it can happen in the summer as well.
Why so SAD?
SAD is diagnosed as depressive symptoms at a specific time of the year, classically, SAD is more shown in the winter or in autumn as the sunshine falls and the harsh cold and darkness prevails and for the few people as little as 5% who are affected by SAD there is an even smaller select few meaning it appears in the summertime.
Sunlight is usually the major belief and key to SAD as decreased sunlight levels may result in less serotonin and more lethargic, tired states and as sunlight being the main belief to SAD, there is also the belief that too much sunlight is what causes your summer blues.
The reason this belief is in place is because too much sunlight turns off melatonin production isn’t he body and it’s a hormone that manages your “sleep-wake cycle” and something as little as turning on the nightlight for that midnight bathroom break can disrupt this melatonin production this also means that longer days result in less hours in the melatonin workshop in your body. Another reason is that prolonged sunlight can disrupt your circadian sleep rhythm and studies have shown that the heat given in summer caused patients with SAD to be more anxious and irritable or angry. The anger is not your typical ice cream melting type of anger, it’s more furious than flaring temper in a heat wave.
Who all gets SAD in the summer?
Women. There are more females with SAD than there are men although men have more severe symptoms, the reason for this is unknown as of now
Relatives. SAD is hereditary and there is a genetic component involved in this disorder
Living in a hotter area. Studies have found that living in a hotter region or close to the equator can result in higher chances in developing SAD as there is prolonged sunlight and heat in those regions
Bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder patients may experience more sensitivity to this disorder as the seasons change
How to get over the blues?
There are many treatments for SAD varying from person to person and the treatment could be as simple as turning the air conditioning on or as complex as antidepressants. If you feel like you are in need of these tips, here they are:
Find an AC. Finding something for cooling may actually help with SAD such as an air conditioner or a fan as high heat is a trigger for SAD
Darkness. Finding a dark room could help as opposed to the winter onset SAD, the harsh and prolonged sunlight is one of the main causes of this disorder and to avoid that, finding a dark room would help. To kill two birds with one stone, you can go to a movie theatre as it is dark and cool.
Getting help. There is nothing shameful in getting help from someone and going to a medical professional might just be the best way to fight the SAD that takes place in the summer and getting prescribed antidepressants may help offset the SAD