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Summer Seasonal Affective Disorder: Is it real?

Seasonal affective disorders are mainly associated with the winter season, but there is a reverse seasonal affective disorder. While winter Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is related to sunlight scarcity, summer Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is due to the opposite—maybe too much sunlight, which also leads to transitions in melatonin secretion. Another speculation is that people might stay up late in summer days, shying their delicate cyclic rhythms for a twist. Fascinatingly, summer seasonal affective disorder, and winter SAD seem to be extensive in areas that are especially vulnerable to hotter summers. In other words, people in the southern U.S. have a propensity to encounter summer SAD more than those staying in the north, and the other way round.

Causes of Summer SAD

There are some particular causes related to it, including:

  • Schedule changes: People with regular jobs, such as teachers, may feel out of bounds due to loss of form in the summer. Even modest changes in schedule can affect mental health. For office workers, progress might change. If other people are out, one may be putting extra effort to reimburse.

  • Vacations: Generally, one thinks of holidays as lightening and loosening, but they can cause a lot of uneasiness and depression for some people. One may fret about devoting too much money, and being with certain family acquaintances could be uneasy.

  • Psychosocial issues: A recent divorce in the family might also add up. Children and parents might be shifting from one place to another, which can cause a lot of anxiety.

  • Daylight patterns: Sometimes, prolonged summer hours can frustrate people. Sleep cycles may be affected.

  • Social events: With more social functions taking place in the summer, there are more chances to attend meetings where alcohol is served. Drinking too many alcoholic beverages can give rise to depression.

People at risk of Summer SAD

Some people are presumed to have both kinds of seasonal affective disorder. Threat factors include:

  • Women are troubled by Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) with seasonal influences more often than men, but men report more acute and grave symptoms.

  • Having a relative with MDD-SP: Like other mood disorders, there seems to be a genetic ingredient to MDD-SP.

  • Living closer to the equator: According to a former study, researchers indicated that people in warmer areas have more summer MDD-SP compared to those living in localities with lower temperatures.

  • Having bipolar disorder: People who have bipolar disorder may encounter more vulnerability to major depressive disorder symptoms with a seasonal influence as the change in seasons.

Symptoms of summer SAD

In most cases, seasonal affective disorder symptoms emerge during late autumn or early winter and go away during the summer. Less frequently, people with the opposite influence have symptoms that commence in spring or summer. In either case, symptoms may start gentle and become more acute as the season goes on.

Signs and symptoms of SAD can include:

  • Feeling melancholic most of the day, nearly every day

  • Losing interest in activities one once enjoyed

  • Having low vigor

  • Having problems with sleep cycles

  • Confronting changes in hunger or weight

  • Feeling inactive or upset

  • Having difficulty focusing

  • Feeling hopeless, paltry or guilty

  • Having random thoughts of death or suicide

Symptoms particular to summer-arrival seasonal affective disorder, sometimes known as summer sadness, may include:

  • Insomnia

  • Poor appetite

  • Weight loss

  • Agitation or anxiety

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Complications of summer SAD

We must take the signs and symptoms of seasonal affective disorder gravely. As with other kinds of depression, the seasonal affective disorder can get unpleasant and lead to complications if not treated. These can include:

  • Social withdrawal

  • School or work problems

  • Substance abuse

  • Some various mental health diseases such as depression or appetite disorders

  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior

Treatment of summer SAD

There are many treatments regarding MDD-SP, varying from access to air-conditioned places to antidepressants. Treatment procedures include:

  • Seeking dark rooms: The preferred process of summer-beginning major depressive disorder with the seasonal influence is linked to sunlight, which is the opposite of winter major depressive disorder with a seasonal impact. It may specify that the preferred environment would also be dissimilar. Instead of light therapy sessions, people who are affected by summer-onset major depressive disorder with seasonal influence may be offered to spend an ample amount of time in darkened rooms. Although the duration of light exposure during the day may be dominant for successful treatment.

  • Finding that AC: Stay away from an increase in the efficiency bill by procuring as many movies as possible. Movie theaters are dark, which is an advantage. Their thermostats always appear to be set to the coldest temperature possible.

  • Getting help: Consulting a healthcare practitioner can help one cope with stress, recognize healthy surviving strategies, and learn how to stay calm. It can also help one handle the FOMO — or risk of missing out — one might feel bad when friends talk about interests and occupations they’re enjoying.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the reverse seasonal affective illness attacks less than one-tenth of all seasonal affective disorder cases. But similar winter-beginning SAD, reverse seasonal affective disorder comes back every year at about the same time.

Sadly, few research pieces dedicated to realizing reverse seasonal affective disorder are more likely because they are less familiar than their counterparts. People who might be attacked by the reverse seasonal affective disorder may be mistaken with paramount depression, anxiety, or dysthymia. Because it is equitably obscure compared to winter SAD, many individuals who become depressed in the summertime may not recognize they have a seasonal affective disorder.

They may merely think of their spells of depression as new occurrences rather than parts of an influence. Though it affects only about a small fraction of the U.S. population, it is an increasing concern and needs to be rectified immediately to prevent wide outspread.


Image credits: Getty Images

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