The first official day of summer is nearing, and with it comes intense summer heat, backyard BBQ’s, and fun vacations; it’s safe to assert that summer is a time of happiness. However, if you are suffering from summer depression, it probably isn’t. Many people believe that seasonal affective disorder is only prominent in the winter, but the sad reality is that so many are also affected in the warm, summer months.
Symptoms of summer depression
- Difficulty sleeping
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Unexplained stress or feelings of sadness
What causes summer depression?
There are different possibilities in terms of why people suffer from summer depression. While for some people it stems from environmental stressors like intense heat, vacation envy, being “out-of-shape”, or a lack of structure and responsibility, for others it actually has to do with their biological structure. For those who have this innate biological influencer, it is called summer-onset seasonal affective disorder, or summertime SAD.
#1 Summer-onset Seasonal Affective Disorder
First, let’s discuss the biologically related reason behind summer depression. You may have heard about SAD (seasonal affective disorder) from the opposing end, where people experience depression in the colder winter months. Unfortunately, a small number of people experience this in reverse, during the summer. Experts are unsure of the reasons why summer SAD occurs, but people tend to agree that it can be related to the longer days, increased heat, and elevated humidity.
#2 Financial stressors
Summertime can be an expensive season. From the stress of saving to go on vacation to having to pay for expensive summer camps and babysitters, there are a lot of various daily expenses that can pop up during the summer.
#3 Body image problems
As the temperature rises, especially here in Texas, the need to wear less clothing intensifies. From the pressure to be in a bathing suit or shorts and tank tops, people tend to focus a bit more on their body and how they feel about it. The societal excess of body focus leads people to become more critical of their body image. As a result, people tend to avoid social situations, which can contribute to summer depression.
#4 The change of schedule
During the summer months, peoples’ schedules are more likely to be thrown off course. Many people find comfort with being on a strict schedule. They thrive off organization, and whenever that schedule changes or gets interrupted, it can be extremely stressful.
What should you do next?
If you are experiencing summer depression, the best thing you can do is talk to someone. Whether it be a trusted family member, friend, or a professional counselor, communication and expression is an essential part of coping.
If you are looking for a trusted and reliable therapy center in Dallas, here at Lifeworks, our mission is to provide guidance to help you live your life well. If you are struggling with coping with depression, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Please contact us today.