Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression commonly associated with the winter months and lack of sunlight. But summertime (reverse) seasonal affective disorder also occurs. It occurs much less frequently than in winter, affecting less than 1% of people. But already this seemingly modest figure suggests that millions suffer from the summer depression. What is she like?
Summer SAD (Summer SAD) is a scientifically proven seasonal affective disorder. This state was discovered in 1984 by American scientists. Summer depression begins in spring and lasts until autumn. Doctors are still putting forward new hypotheses of its occurrence.
Winter depression is usually accompanied by lethargy and drowsiness, while summer depression is characterized by insomnia and overexcitement. However, in many ways, the symptoms of summertime disorder are very similar to those of classic depression. So, a person becomes anxious and irritable, loses sleep and appetite, may refuse to communicate.
The main causes of summer depression
1. Long daylight hours
There is reason to believe that the symptoms of summer depression appear in connection with an increase in the length of daylight hours and a decrease in the night. In addition, this is accompanied by warming and increasing humidity. However, there is no evidence for this theory yet.
In winter, the amount of sunlight decreases and this factor can cause a decrease in serotonin, which in turn leads to depression. The change in season affects the balance of melatonin levels in the body, which plays an important role in sleep and mood.
2. Someone else’s happiness
Summer brings new feelings and emotions into our life, for example, the joy of the sun’s warmth and light. Many people rejoice at this fact and are in high spirits, regardless of the situation around. And it is this behavior of others that can cause depression in those who, for some reason, cannot share these emotions.
However, this mainly concerns people who are prone to blues. They may feel imbalanced and realize that their level of happiness is not the same as that of those around them. All of these can lead to discomfort, anxiety, and depression.
In spring and summer, allergy to pollen from flowering plants is aggravated. Some psychologists believe that allergies can also affect mood. There is a theory that certain allergens cause inflammation in the airways, leading to depression in those predisposed to it. Summer depression symptoms may be mild in early spring and worsen during the summer.
Coping with summer depression
There is currently no specific treatment for summer depression, but experts provide some tips that may help.
Sleep in a darkened room
As the length of daylight increases, the number of hours of sleep decreases, as many cannot sleep when the sun is shining outside. To solve this problem, it is important to get curtains that completely block out the light. This will give your inner clock the ability to decide when it’s time to wake up.
Exercise regularly can help relieve stress and anxiety (these are the symptoms that tend to exacerbate summer depression). The best option is an active pastime in the fresh air – cycling, roller skating, volleyball, badminton, running and Nordic walking with sticks.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
This method allows non-invasive stimulation of the cerebral cortex through short magnetic pulses. The TMS procedure is a recognized diagnostic method used in neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry, and urology. The method has been successfully used in the treatment of depression because it reduces the symptoms that cause it.
If the symptoms of depression are not severe, try resorting to the wisdom of Ayurveda. For example, Ayurveda specialists are sure that physical activity is necessary, but yoga and swimming are more suitable in the hot season. Movements should be slow and not warm up the body. It is important to focus on cooling, dry and heavy foods in the diet. Sweet, bitter and astringent tastes should be the main ones. Drink cool (but not ice cold) water with mint, cucumber, and lime.
If you have two or more of the symptoms listed below – a feeling of apathy and powerlessness, loss of concentration and appetite, insomnia, anxiety and even more suicidal thoughts – this is a reason to consult a specialist.