The National Institute of Mental Health defines Seasonal Affective Disorder as “a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons”. Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD, is a type of depression that is primarily associated with the winter months but some also deal with SAD during the summer. This type of depression comes with indicators like: low mood, loss of interest in things you usually enjoy, low energy and a persistent craving for carbs. These dreaded symptoms usually occur during the dark, cold days of winter when we spend most of our time indoors and rarely see the sun. However, many people also battle with this issue during the summer.
There are many factors that can aid in someone suffering from summer SAD. For someone that has gone through a long, rough winter, you may be low in vitamin D due to the lack of sunlight and UV exposure. It is know that vitamin D can help give energy and lift your mood which can be highly beneficial for anyone dealing with SAD. Spending at least 15-30 minutes outdoors each day can be the key to fighting back against SAD.
On the complete opposite side of the spectrum, the hot, brutal days of summer can also be a factor in your suffering. When the weather takes a turn and it starts to become hot and humid outside, many people make the decision to stay inside and enjoy the cool air conditioning. While this can be nice, spending too much time inside means that you are not out in the sun getting the UV exposure that is needed for vitamin D and serotonin production. Whether you are inside working all day or just staying home to avoid the hot sun, it is important to get exposed to either a Bright Light Therapy Box or the sun in order to avoid those unwanted feelings of SAD during the summer.
Keep in mind that not everyone that has depression is also deficient in vitamin D. While there can be a connection between the two, one does not fully cause the other. Using a light therapy box is a wonderful way to help your body produce serotonin in order to give you energy and lift your mood without having to protect yourself from any harmful UV rays.