SAD in the Summer?

With the start of summer coming up, most people are starting to put away their light boxes for the season, while others are starting to take theirs out.  It may seem odd, but there is a much less common type of SAD, known as summer-onset depression.  It generally begins in the late spring or early summer and goes away with winter. But it is thought to affect less than 1% of the U.S. population.

Research has showed that suffers tend to experience different symptoms than their cold weather SAD equivalents. Summer-onset seasonal affective disorder symptoms include: Depression, anxiety, trouble sleeping (insomnia), irritability, agitation, weight loss, poor appetite, increased sex drive and suicidal thoughts and feelings.

Unlike winter-onset depression where you see sufferers with an increased appetite and increased sleep, you see a decreased appetite and insomnia. Most sufferers attribute their symptoms to summer heat.  There is very little evidence on how to best treat summer SAD, but some sufferers report relief by staying indoors and keeping cool.  It has been shown to respond to antidepressant medications. But talk to your doctor for additional help and advice, or if your side effects don’t go away or get worse.



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