This latest warm weather pattern has surely been welcome for those of you who often suffer from the “winter blues”. But there is a small slice of the public who don’t care for the warmth and the sun.
We think of Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD as something that only happens in the Winter. But a small fraction of the population can get it in the Summer months. It’s called Summer Seasonal Affective Disorder, or Reverse SAD.
There are many theories doctors have on why one would be sadder when it’s sunny and warm. One potential reason is that a small fraction of people aren’t helped by the increased serotonin from more sunlight. Another is that most stay up later so their circadian rhythm is off which means we may work or go to school with less sleep. Sometimes Summer S.A.D. can be brought on by oppressively hot temperatures. There is also increased worry about body image during bathing suit season. Anxiety can be brought on by the financial pressure of summer daycare and family vacations.
Since it’s not as well know, many who suffer from Summer Seasonal Affective Disorder don’t even know it. They assume changes in their lives has given them depression and anxiety and usually don’t consider seasonal changes.
According to the Mayo Clinic, some of the symptoms of Summer SAD are insomnia, poor appetite, weight loss, agitation or anxiety. It’s best to consult your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.
People who suffer from S.A.D. often have blood relatives who suffer from depression. For some who suffer from S.A.D., there is temporary relief from anxiety during bad weather.
Janice Wilson is an Associate Professor in Psychology at the University of Mary, “there are probably times where it has made people feel better. Because like you said, I don’t have to interact, I get to stay in my little bubble in my comfort zone. That makes me, once agian, feel safe. That’s where the weather can impact that like, I get to stay in this nice and cozy environment. I get to be in front of my tv watching my favorite shows with my favorite people and my favorite things. I don’t have to worry about going out there and worrying about that addition anxiety that may come from social environments. “
This could go for winter storms or rainy days but it certainly doesn’t help with the anxiety you get when thinking about the work that’s piling up!
There isn’t a one blanket emotion we all feel about seasons and weather. Many of us love the warmth but others absolutely hate it. But what’s more important is understanding how seasonal changes impact us more than we know.