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When Summer is Depressing!

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Despite the warm sunshine and the much anticipated freedom that accompanies summertime, many people can actually feel more depressed during the summer. Seasonal transition depression is typically associated with winter; however, it happens to some people in the summer as well. Learn about the symptoms of summer depression, and what you can do to combat it, in order to enjoy your summer to the fullest.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that is related to changes in seasons; its symptoms start about the same time each year, most commonly beginning in the fall and lasting through the winter. In about 10% of people with SAD, symptoms develop in spring and last through summer; summer-onset SAD is commonly known as summertime sadness or summertime depression.

Summer SAD people can experience the full range of symptoms of major depressive disorder; depressed mood, hopelessness, trouble sleeping (insomnia), poor appetite, weight loss, and feelings of worthlessness and anxiety.

Unfortunately, in the field of summer depression research there is a surplus of observation and a shortage of explanation. It remains a puzzle why some people experience the blues during the months of fun in the Sun; however, one theory regarding summertime SAD speculates a combination of reasons.

In general, the change in season can disrupt the balance of the body’s level of melatonin, which plays a role in sleep patterns and mood. High temperatures, intense sunlight, and humidity may contribute to making some people irritable and nervous. While some people can be affected by the focus on body image, especially after gaining weight in winter.

If your symptoms are mild, which means they do not interfere in and completely ruin your daily life, then there are many ways to overcome this seasonal depression, such as:

  • Avoiding intense light and heat; trying to socialize; avoiding stress and exercising regularly.
  • Making sure you eat a balanced diet and taking a natural remedy for mood swings, such as ginseng, wheatgrass with vitamin B6 and B12 and Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil capsules or salmon and other fatty fish) are a few proven depression fighters.
  • Drinking plenty of water and iced herbal tea; avoiding soda—including diet soda—alcohol and coffee, as these drinks cause dehydration.

It is normal to have some days when you feel down; but, if you feel down for days at a time and you cannot get motivated to do activities you normally enjoy, then you need to see a doctor. This is especially important if your sleep patterns and appetite have changed, or if you feel hopeless, think about suicide, or turn to alcohol or drugs for comfort or relaxation.

There are many online SAD tests that can help you know if you need to consult a specialist or not:

References
mayoclinic.org
mind.org.uk
psychologytoday.tests.psychtests.com
mentalhealthamerica.net

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