Feel Summertime Sadness? You’re Not Alone

There’s just something about the summer that seems so happy: The sun is shining, birds are singing and there is an abundance of fun outdoor activities to take part in. However, summer might not be something everyone looks forward to. In fact, some even dread it. An estimated 10 percent of people who experience seasonal affective disorder (a depression that is triggered every year around the same time) find that they experience their symptoms throughout the summer months.

And while it shares a name with the more common winter SAD, the symptoms for summer SAD can be a bit different. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of summer SAD include:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Poor appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Agitation or anxiety
  • A constant state of depression
  • Low energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless, guilty
  • Thoughts of suicide

So what can you do?

While no one is entirely sure why people experience summer SAD, there are a few theories. For one, the increased amount of sunshine can change your internal clock and melatonin levels, making it tougher to sleep. If that’s happening to you, try taking a short afternoon nap in a darker environment when possible.

The heat may also be linked to summer SAD symptoms. According to the New York Times, reports of summer SAD are more frequent in areas with hotter temperatures. It could help if you regulate your body temperature as much as possible by taking colder showers, cranking up the AC or taking a cool swim on days that seem unbearably hot.

Most importantly, if your symptoms include depression or suicidal thoughts, seek immediate assistance. Set up an appointment with your doctor, visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org or call 1-800-273-8255 to get the help you need.

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