Symptoms of Summer Depression
Summer: The Best Time of the Year?
Glory hallelujah, it's summer! The sun is shining, the birds are singing, there isn't a cloud in the sky. You can't wait to take a break from the same-old routine and go to waterparks, have picnics, go camping, and seize every long, hot summer day!
And the best part is, everyone else feels just the same. Or do they? I sure don't. But is it just me?
According to a recent article found at Common Health at www.wbur.org (Boston's public radio website) and at the Huffington Post, not everybody feels this way. Have you heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)? That's the technical term for depression or blues that come on during a certain season. The certain season is usually winter, and many reasons are cited for feeling gloomy in the winter - less light, cold temperatures, and lack of exercise due to bad weather, among others. I was very surprised to learn that for some people, SAD only occurs in the summer, not in the winter!
I Think I Have That!
I was not only surprised to learn that summer SAD is actually a real thing, but kind of excited. The reason? Shhh.... I hate summer too! I hate oppressive heat, humidity, and the scorching kind of sunlight that makes me feel like every bit of moisture is evaporating from my skin. (Come to think of it, it probably is!) Unlike many people, I don't welcome the longer days; are you supposed to fill those days with more stuff? It just feels wrong to veg out in front of the TV when it's still light out - never mind that it's 9pm! I don't like sweating on my way to work or bugs biting me, or a schedule that is all out of whack. Spontaneous barbecues don't thrill me either. Until I read about it, it never occurred to me that perhaps my dislike of camping could be related to summer SAD.
For the longest time, though, I've felt like a complete outcast for not loving summer. When I finished reading the two articles, I immediately emailed them to my mother, who dislikes summer as much as I do. "Wow. Wow. Wowee!" she wrote back. Even though summer is still summer, it somehow feels better to know that we're not alone.
At Least It'll Be September Soon!
I haven't really figured out a good way to deal with seasonal depression. I do find that I feel better on days where there is some structure, and some exercise. My garden loves the heat and the sun, so I can appreciate at least some things about the summer weather. I am also lucky to live in an air-conditioned apartment, so I can escape somewhere cool if necessary. In the comments section, feel free to let us all know if you've experienced seasonal depression, and how you've dealt with it - summer or winter.
Now get out there and hope for a partly cloudy, 75 degree day!