Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Springtime Depression: Don’t Worry About Not Being Happy

lilac.jpg(Formerly) Fresh Living blogger Valerie Reiss wrote a poignant post on Springtime depression. I found it very comforting because, although I am energized by the changing of seasons and more sunlight, I also feel pressured during the months of April and May to be one happy camper all of the time. Do you know what I mean? 

I always hated April and May in college because I felt like such a sour puss for accidentally whining here or there, for not wearing the Colgate smile everyday on my way to class. 


There are actually more suicides in April and May than in January and December, even though you’d think people would crash during or after Christmas, when the weatherman predicts a blizzard that will have your kids out of school for weeks. 

The reason for the spikes during the spring? Depressives get the boost of energy they need to kill themselves. I know that sounds horrible, but it’s true. And I can’t help but think that part of it is that melancholic folks recognize the blast of sunshine and hope around them … their friends breaking out of their gray moods as they hop on the mountain bike for a long ride … and feel even more desperate because the sunshiny mood hasn’t made it to them, yet.


In her post, “Springtime Depression Is Touching My Soul,” Valerie writes:

Though I was calling it “Ungrateful for a Break in the Cold Gray Weather” and “Lame,” apparently some doctors have a kinder, more clinical term for the nice weather blues: “Spring Exacerbation.” No one knows why exactly suicides are at their highest this time of year, or why those suffering from SAD can get an extra dose of wham-slam when the sun re-appears. Some say sadness meets a slight energy lift–just enough to act on ruminations. Others speculate that there’s a feeling of “Wow it’s gorgeous out and I still feel crappy? That must mean I will never be happy.” Whatever it is, it’s true. 


As someone who spent the weekend feeling absolutely blammoed by the extreme shift to utter gorgeousness, T.S. Eliot (above) makes sense. There’s something oddly comforting about the misery of winter, and a camaraderie with even those who aren’t normally depressed. When the sun comes and wrenches those lilacs from the earth and families and friends and couples all play frisbee and have picnics and talk about how happy they are, it’s almost too much to bear. And then that fact–that I’ve waited and prayed for spring and now I can’t even enjoy it–makes me feel like an ungrateful wretch in addition to completely alone and raw and skinless. The bad-thought pile-on.

I guess I’m writing about this for my own sense of needing to tell, but also to say to people who might think that no one else could possibly be bummed when the sun is beaming and the flowers are blooming–on a weekend no less–that you’re not alone. And from what I’ve read, things should start to level out again in June.


Valerie’s advice is spot on: Don’t feel pressured to have a FANTASTIC day because, well, everyone else is. Ease up a tad, and treat the day as you would any other … a few hours at a time, if you need to.

Click here to subscribe to Beyond Blue and click here to follow Therese on Twitter and click here to join Group Beyond Blue, a depression support group. Now stop clicking.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Excelsior

    The Shining & Warm Sun gives life to the Earth & Its Creatures. The Light is not there to Expose You. It is there like God to Grow You! Take a few steps out and these Sunny and Warm days will allow you to bask in the Good & Positive! You Deserve it!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment spareparts

    May be hope after all. Thanks Therese.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Razz2

    I so appreciate this post!!! I’ve been struggling with some major depression and in other years it usually starts to lift a bit sometime around now. This year I’ve had to double my meds instead!!! What’s wrong with me? Everyone is talking about their yards, and gardens etc. and I feel like my spring sweater is unraveling at all it’s seams. This is one time where I’m happy not to be “unique”.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Michele

    I will be officially divorced November 23 2012, for two years. I also lost my job seven months before he left and was injured. My life has done a downhill spiral and trying to get off the coach to take a shower. I truly need help and I know that I just can’t move. I’m suffering and my one son who is sixteen is suffering. I’m hoping that reading these blogs will help me. Thank you for sharing your story!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment summer

    you dont post anything but reposts of others writing, how hard is that?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Susan

    I completely understand about blues in the beautiful spring. Mine stems from the fact that while other people can easily stroll or run in the sun, I can’t due to a health condition I have that causes extreme pain when I walk. So, springtime reminds me of my limitations and brings back memories of how much fun I used to have in the sun. Not feeling that loss is impossible. I just live for those few days when my pain is less and I can walk even just a little without pain.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Rhonda

    I’m so tired of being depressed. I like knowing that I am not alone. Thank you for your post. I’m sorry some don’t appreciate it.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Tara

    Thank you for this post. We’ve had some unseasonably warm and beautiful weather lately, when usually we get ice storms and snow at this time. I feel like I should be out and about and swinging on swings, but all I want to do is nap.

  • Pingback: Springtime Depression | Scrawny Scribbles

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Diana

    Today is just the day for reading this “much needed” post. I needed it more than I realised and hope that you all find a new beginning with each new day. Thank You!

  • http://@kateocoop Katherine O. Cooper

    Yes! Way spot on dude!

    It would be powerful to link this to a study or refection on the power of barometric shifts…

    this is my first spring in this part of the midwest – holy smokes! temperature and barometric shifts are creating a “blamo” for me physically. Thanks for the lovely reflections to both writers!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Cindy

    I’ve had “spring depression” for years. I didn’t know others experienced the same. I’ve always known that once the weather gets really hot (June here) it would lift. My only solace has been that during those times when I’ve had major depression (making my “spring depression” look like a walk in a lilac filled park) I’ve been able to get outside in beauty, bike and sit under the stars without freezing.
    Thanks for the blog. As always it is nice to know I’m not alone. Blessings to all this Holy week–and especially to you, Therese.

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