Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that pops up around the same time every year. It is often associated with winter and a lack of sunlight, but Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms can actually show up in any season. Though less common than the winter months, it is possible to have SAD in the summer. It usually begins in late spring to early summer and begins tapering off in early fall.
Seasonal Affective Disorder Symptoms
If you or someone you care about is experiencing the following symptoms for more than two weeks, it is time to speak to a medical professional. There are things you can do and people who can help you when things get tough.
- Feeling hopeless or excessively sad
- Oversleeping or not sleeping enough
- Eating too much, not enough, or having strong cravings
- Noticeable weight gain or loss
- Fatigue or lowered energy levels
- Heaviness in arms and legs
- Difficulty concentrating
- Irritability or increased emotional sensitivity
- Avoiding social gatherings or physical activities
- Suicidal thoughts
Possible Causes of SAD
There are many potential reasons for the appearance of Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms. In the winter they are generally affiliated with weather changes and the amount of sunlight available. However, in the summer, when the sun is shining practically all the time, some of us still experience Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms.
Similar to winter SAD, your body may be sensitive to the change in sunlight hours and your body’s natural production of melatonin may be affected. This affects your quality and quantity of sleep, and can also affect your mood.
For many people, particularly parents, your daily schedule changes in the summer. You have to factor in vacations and other activities that interfere with your work schedule. Or you now have kids home from school who need extra attention, entertainment, and transportation. One key element in managing depression is a solid routine. Unfortunately, in the summer, that routine can become virtually nonexistent.
Swimsuit season puts additional pressure on many of us to look our best while wearing less. This can also exacerbate feelings of inadequacy and contribute to symptoms of depression.
Another possible cause is the increase in temperature and humidity. We spend more time indoors to avoid the heat, missing out on precious sunlight, or increased fatigue makes it difficult to perform daily tasks at the level we are used to.
The addition of vacations, daycare, or outdoor activities can make a dent in our bank account, adding plenty of stress and causing us to worry excessively.
Seasonal Affective Disorder Treatment
Seasonal Affective Disorder treatment is available at Desert Parkway Behavioral Healthcare Hospital from skilled and caring mental health professionals. Learn more about what you can do to alleviate symptoms of SAD or to get help for a friend or family member. Please contact us today. Be sure to visit our website to learn about our services. Our Patient Services Helpline is available 24/7 at (877) 663-7976.