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The Unconventional Summer Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): You're Not Alone!

What on Earth is Summer SAD?

Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is often associated with winter blues, but did you know that it has a sunnier, albeit just as gloomy, cousin? That’s right, welcome to the world of Summer Seasonal Affective Disorder, the somewhat paradoxical depression that strikes when everyone else seems to be having the time of their lives.

While Winter Seasonal Affective Disorder sufferers are comforted by spring’s arrival, others dread it. Summer SAD, also known as Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder, swaps snowflakes for sunbeams and targets its victims with a disheartening punch right when the temperatures soar. Although Summer SAD is less common than Winter SAD, it can be just as severe if not more.

Reading the Signs: Are You SAD in Summer?

How can you tell if you’re experiencing Summer SAD? It’s a tricky one, as some symptoms mirror those of Winter SAD, while others are distinctly different. If you are experiencing the following signs, you may have Summer SAD:

1. A lack of energy, lethargy or persistent tiredness, despite the bright light of day.

2. Insomnia or difficulty in getting a good night’s sleep.

3. A decreased appetite and potential subsequent weight loss.

4. Feelings of agitation, restlessness or anxiety. 

5. More severe than the usual summertime sadness, including feelings of despair, and hopelessness.

The diagnosis of Summer SAD involves a thorough evaluation by a mental health professional. They’ll look at your medical history, ask about your mood, thoughts, and behavior patterns, and see how well they align with the season.

Causes: Why Can’t I Enjoy Summer Like Everyone Else?

The exact cause of Summer SAD is a mystery that keeps psychologists up at night. However, they speculate that several factors could be at play:

The Heat Factor: It’s not always a case of “the hotter, the better.” Heat and humidity can be oppressive and exacerbate feelings of discomfort and agitation.

Body Image: Let’s face it, the pressure to have a “beach body” is immense in summer, and not everyone feels comfortable flaunting their physique.

Too Much Daylight: Longer days can lead to disrupted sleep, which can worsen mood disorders.

Vacation Envy: The constant bombardment of others’ epic vacation pics when you’re stuck at home can dampen anyone’s spirits.

Disrupted Routines: Kids out of school, irregular work hours, the abandonment of normal routines can all throw a wrench in the works

Treating Summer SAD: How Do I Get My Summer Groove Back?

As with any form of depression, it’s important to seek professional help if you think you’re experiencing Summer SAD. Your treatment options may include:

Therapy: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help you learn coping mechanisms, change negative thought patterns, and manage your symptoms.

Medication: Antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication can be beneficial for some people (Please consult your healthcare professional)

Lifestyle changes: Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and plenty of sleep can go a long

Stress Management Techniques: Techniques such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises can help in alleviating stress and promoting relaxation. 

Self-Care: Take some time out for yourself. Engaging in activities that you enjoy can help improve your mood and energy levels.

Outsourcing Chores: One of the ways to free up some time for self-care is by delegating chores, such as cleaning, to someone else. Enlisting the help of a cleaning service like Scrubbi means you can relax and focus on things that make you happy while we handle the dust and grime. A clean, tidy environment can work wonders for your mental wellbeing.

When Life Gives You Summers…

Having Summer SAD when everyone around you seems to be basking in the sunshine can feel isolating. But remember, it’s okay to feel down even when the sun is up. The most important thing is to seek help if you think you’re experiencing symptoms of Summer SAD. There’s no need to suffer in silence – professional help, self-care, and even some cleaning assistance can bring the shine back into your summer.


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