There’s really no season that has a better reputation than summer.
It’s that time of year associated with vacations and long beach days soaking up the sun. It’s about cold drinks, melting popsicles, Vitamin C, and family fun. School’s out, it’s hot, and it’s time to celebrate!
This is the mindset society paints in picture-perfect advertising campaigns, but not everyone shares this kind of enthusiasm for the hot summer months. In fact, some people become downright sick of summer and long for the cold days of winter.
Understanding Reverse SAD
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is commonly associated with the long, dark days of winter when the days are shorter and cold temperatures keep people inside away from sunlight. SAD can leave people feeling lethargic, depressed and longing for the sweet days of summer and sunshine. But, for a small group of people, the colder days of winter evoke an improved mood which is quite the opposite of those who suffer from SAD.
Summer-onset seasonal affective disorder is SAD in reverse meaning the onset of summer (instead of winter) triggers depression for some. And, while people who suffer from SAD during the winter often feel gloomy and lethargic, those with summer SAD can feel quite the opposite and suffer from insomnia, loss of appetite, and anxiety. It’s easy enough to go into hibernation in the winter, but having summer SAD carries a certain stigma. Society tells us that we’re supposed to enjoy the sweet days of summer which can lead to misunderstanding and compassion towards those who suffer.
A First-Hand Account Of What Reverse SAD Is Like…
Sharon is an inspirational blogger, wellness advocate, and someone who suffers from reverse SAD. She knows what it’s like to agonize during the summer months when everyone around you seems to be having fun in the sun. Here are a few things she’d like you to know about the 1-6% of people who have summer depression like Sharon…
Reverse SAD Is Real It’s not about being a ‘party pooper’, summer depression can really bring some people down.
“The sun, to me, is utterly oppressive. It drains and exhausts me. I am energized on cloudy days”, said Sharon.
This type of exhaustion can isolate people and intensify feelings of sadness and anxiety. It’s Not About “Missing Out” On Activities There seems to be misinformation floating around about summer depression. Some articles link FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) to summer depression which isn’t always the case.
As Sharon said, “I am not sitting here right this minute agitated, panicky, nauseous, anxious and depressed because I can’t go to the seashore with my friends.”
It’s important to remember that summer depression is a true medical condition and should be treated as such. There Are Many Symptoms As with other conditions, there are a few symptoms of summer depression that can vary from person to person. It’s not just about being sad or hating the sunlight. Sharon experiences feelings of agitation and panic almost every single day during the summer which can be debilitating.
Lead With Compassion
If you or someone you love suffers from summer-onset seasonal depression, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Create a routine that helps you keep symptoms at bay during the summer months that works for YOU. Don’t suffer from summer depression alone, we’re here for you!