A slim number of Americans struggle with a form of depression that only manifests itself during the summer. Do you know the facts?
By Margo Mae, DiscoverHealing Staff
If the dog days of summer have you feeling overwhelmed and anxious, it may be more than just the heat. A slim number of Americans unknowingly struggle with reverse seasonal affective disorder (summer-SAD)—a form of depression that only manifests itself during the summer. Do you know the facts?
It’s not all in your head.
Summer-SAD only affects 1.6 million Americans a year, but don’t let its size fool you. “Both summer-SAD and winter-SAD people can experience the full range of symptoms of major depressive disorder—depressed mood, hopelessness and feelings of worthlessness and nihilism,” says UCLA Depression Research & Clinic Program director Ian Cook.
Symptoms may vary.
Like major depression, seasonal affective disorder may leave you feeling hopeless, worthless, depressed, and uninterested in activities you previously enjoyed. Summer-SAD sufferers can also experience anxiety, weight loss, insomnia, increased sex drive, and loss of appetite.
It’s likely caused by too much sunlight.
As the sun goes down, your body naturally produces melatonin, the hormone which helps you fall asleep. Those long summer days may be affecting your melatonin production and throwing off your sleep cycles—a huge influencer in your mood.
Consult The Body Code to discover if any other imbalances, like mineral deficiencies or negative energies, might also be impacting your sleep cycle.
Your birthday may be a factor.
A winter birthday may make you more susceptible to summer-SAD. Researchers at Vanderbilt University concluded that seasonal light had a lifelong impact on developing brains. Mice born in “summer” environments were bolder and less prone to depression than their winter-born counterparts.
The research is limited.
Seasonal affective disorder has been the subject of over one thousand studies—but few of these focused exclusively on summer-SAD. While many believe the best treatment is to limit one’s exposure to light and heat, these benefits seem to disappear once you return outside. “The trouble with cold therapy…is that it doesn’t seem to last,” said Norman Rosenthal, one of the first researchers of the disorder.
You might feel lonely…
Fighting depression is hard, especially when everyone around you is enjoying the summer fun. Summer-SAD sufferers often have increased feelings of isolation.
…But you’re not alone
A Certified Emotion Code or Body Code Practitioner can help you discover if negative energies or Trapped Emotions are contributing to your seasonal depression. Download your free e-book of The Emotion Code or schedule a healing session to learn more. Always see a doctor if you think about suicide or turn to alcohol or drugs for comfort.
Learn more about depression!
The article is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Barnes, Zahra (2015) What is Melatonin and Should You Really Take it For Sleep? The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/11/what-is-melatonin-sleep_n_6795220.html
Lewis, Jordan Gaines (2015) Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder: SAD in the Summer. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/brain-babble/201501/reverse-seasonal-affective-disorder-sad-in-the-summer
Handwerk, Brian (2015) People Get Seasonal Depression in the Summer, Too. Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/people-get-seasonal-depression-summer-too-180955673/
Khazan, Olga (2014) When Summer is Depressing. The Atlantic. Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/07/when-summer-is-depressing/375327/
Mayo Clinic Staff (2016) Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/basics/symptoms/con-20021047
Dahl, Melissa (2015) Some People Get SAD in the Summer. NY Mag. Retrieved from http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2015/05/some-people-get-sad-in-the-summer.html