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Summer Blues

Summer is often thought of as a time of fun, relaxation, and sunshine. However, for some individuals, the summer months can be a trigger for depression. While less commonly known than its winter counterpart, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), summer depression is a real phenomenon that can impact many people. 

What is Summer Depression? 

Summer depression, also known as summer-onset depression or summer SAD, is a type of depression that is triggered by the change in seasons from spring to summer. Symptoms of summer depression can include feelings of sadness, anxiety, irritability, loss of interest in activities, trouble sleeping, changes in appetite, and more.

The Causes of Summer Depression 

There is still much that researchers do not know about summer depression, but some theories suggest that it may be related to the changes in light exposure and social routines that occur during the summer months. For example, longer days and brighter sunlight may disrupt the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, leading to sleep disturbances and fatigue. Additionally, changes in social routines, such as the end of the school year or changes in work schedules, can sometimes lead to feelings of loneliness or isolation.

Tips for Coping with Summer Depression

If you’re struggling with summer depression, there are several things you can do to help manage your symptoms:

1. Seek professional help: If you’re experiencing symptoms of depression, it’s important to seek professional help from a therapist or mental health provider. They can work with you to develop a treatment plan that meets your specific needs.

2. Stick to a routine: Maintaining a regular schedule can help regulate your sleep-wake cycle and provide a sense of structure and stability.

3. Practice self-care: Engage in activities that you enjoy and that promote relaxation, such as exercise, meditation, or spending time in nature.

4. Stay connected: Reach out to friends and family members for social support and consider joining a support group or community organization.

5. Limit exposure to bright sunlight: If you find that bright sunlight triggers your symptoms, try wearing sunglasses, staying indoors during peak sunlight hours, or using curtains or shades to block out light. 

Ultimately, summer depression is a real condition that can impact many individuals. However, with the right treatment and support, it is possible to manage symptoms and improve overall well-being. If you’re struggling with summer depression, know that you’re not alone, and that there is help available.