Did you know that you can get SAD in summer? No—not just sad, the emotion, but seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression that’s related to seasonal changes. Most people think SAD only happens during the gloomy winter months as a result of the lack of sunlight and warmth, but around 1 percent of people suffer from this mood disorder during summer.
The two variants of SAD cause similar feelings, but manifest in very different ways—those who suffer from winter SAD tend to gain weight and feel sluggish. But summertime SAD causes just the opposite, often manifesting in agitation, anxiety, and a host of other unique symptoms.
Many people mistake summertime SAD for other situations, such as severe anxiety about wearing bathing suits in public, for example, or irritation from vacation envy. But these symptoms go beyond what is warranted for these situations—they’re downright debilitating, in many cases, and caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain and your body’s clock being thrown off by the summer sun.
Left untreated, SAD can develop into social withdrawal, suicidal thoughts, and problems at school or work. But if you learn to spot the signs of summertime SAD, you can seek treatment by making a trip to your primary care provider and providing him or her with a list of your symptoms.
So to help you learn to spot the symptoms before they harm you, let’s take a look at 6 signs of summer depression.