Medicated

Summertime Blues? Check out the top 10 signs of SAD...


by Tonya M. - May 9, 2016


is a professional publisher and owner of a small trade book publishing house from New Westminster, BC. Currently she worked as a freelance writer for legitimate Canadian pharmacy.

Summer’s nearly here, and there’s so much to look forward to! Who doesn’t like vacations, barbeques, sunny beaches, hiking, camping, running through sprinklers, and spending time with family and friends?

But sometimes, these things don’t elicit the same amount of excitement for everyone. And perhaps it’s not because you don’t like mosquitoes in your sleeping bag or sand in your swimsuit.

It’s because you genuinely feel depressed or despondent even thought the sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and you can’t hear anything but your neighbours’ laughter.

This feeling has a name that we usually associate with depression that can occur in the winter months: Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.

What is SAD?

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is form of depression typically linked to the change in seasons, and usually occurs around the same time each year. Those who suffer from SAD in fall/winter begin to see symptoms as the days get shorter, and the sunlight decreases.

But there some who suffer from SAD in spring/summer, and the symptoms are often the opposite of SAD in fall/winter. For instance, instead of feeling slower, sleepier, hungrier than usual, and experiencing weight gain, those dealing with SAD in summer may experience anxiety, nervousness, sleeplessness, and lack of appetite. Because there are fewer people who experience SAD in the spring/summer months, there may also be fewer opportunities to find others to share experiences.

What are the signs of “summertime blues"?

1) Let’s be frank…you hate the heat. This, very simply, makes it difficult to want to go outside. You may begin to spend more and more time in your air-conditioned room, or inside near a fan, which can become isolating and sometimes oppressive. This also means that you’re resorting to microwavable food to keep down the heat in your home. Most likely, ready-prepared meals are not the healthiest food choice. The more you isolate yourself without healthy, solid, meals the more your body is likely to react to these factors over time.

by VladisChern, despositphotos.com
by VladisChern, despositphotos.com

2) Summer schedules are all over the place. And they can mess with your diet, sleep, solo time, and more. Remember that changes in schedules = changes in consistency. These schedule changes can be triggers, especially if you’re prone to depression.

by elen418, despositphotos.com
by elen418, despositphotos.com

3) Your solo time isn’t what it used to be. We all need our alone time. Even if it’s just an hour to read a book or watch a favourite show or to decompress from a harried work day, or a regular work day. Summer schedules, or lack thereof, may mean that in the flurry of “summer stuff to do," solo time gets the backseat.

by kovacevic, despositphotos.com
by kovacevic, despositphotos.com

4) Money. Yes. Financial stresses in the summer can sometimes feel all-encompassing. Most people love big vacations. But big vacations can cost a lot of money. And for those who have school-aged children, there are out-of-school programs, summer gear, and camps to be paid for. It can all feel like a huge weight, and it can lead to summer depression.

by Wavebreakmedia, despositphotos.com
by Wavebreakmedia, despositphotos.com

5) You have Fall/Winter SAD. If you suffer from fall/winter SAD, you may be at risk for spring/summer SAD. The symptoms of spring/summer SAD are not the same. In fact, as mentioned above, they are nearly the exact opposite. Instead of feeling slower, sleepier, hungrier than usual, and experiencing weight gain, those dealing with SAD in summer may experience anxiety, nervousness, sleeplessness, and lack of appetite. Because there are fewer people who experience SAD in the spring/summer months, there may also be fewer opportunities to find others to share experiences.

by stevanovicigor, despositphotos.com
by stevanovicigor, despositphotos.com

6) You’re sneezing and wheezing. We’re talking seasonal allergies caused by the pollen from trees and such. These allergies can lead to swelling and inflammation, which can increase the likelihood of depression in those who may be more vulnerable to it.

by Wavebreakmedia, despositphotos.com
by Wavebreakmedia, despositphotos.com

7) Catching those regular “Zzzzzzzzzs" just isn’t happening. Longer days can mean your sleep patterns are off. Way off. Sleep is important to overall health. When your circadian rhythms are repeatedly affected, your body will certainly let you know about it.

by GeorgeRudy, despositphotos.com
by GeorgeRudy, despositphotos.com

8) You’re feeling more overloaded than usual. The whole idea of so much to do, so little time is looming. And, as mentioned earlier, summer schedules can cause a change in an otherwise consistent schedule, which can be a trigger for depression. If you’re feeling extremely overwhelmed it can also lead to anxiety.

by baranq, despositphotos.com
by baranq, despositphotos.com

9) You’re not feeling great about your body. Bathing suits. Strappy dresses. Shorts. Sleeveless or short-sleeved shirts. In the warmer months, we tend to wear less. If you’re not feeling okay with your body, being outside the summer months may exaggerate this feeling and keep you from participating in activities with others.

by anyaberkut, despositphotos.com
by anyaberkut, despositphotos.com

10) You’ve lost interest in the stuff you love to do. So summer has rolled around, and you find that you’re just not interested in things that usually make you feel good, or activities you’ve been pretty keen on at one time. This loss of interest may be combined with feelings of hopelessness, loss of appetite, increased irritability, and more.

by Jim_Filim, despositphotos.com
by Jim_Filim, despositphotos.com

So, if you find you’ve got a couple or a few of the above symptoms going on, the best thing to do is to talk with your doctor. Pay attention to the signs, and give yourself permission to give yourself a break. There’s an old song in which the lyrics state that “there ain’t no cure for the summertime blues." Well, there may not be an absolute cure, but there are case-by-case treatment options that can make all the difference.

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