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Summer is often related with carefree enjoyable — however for some individuals, sunny days can spark disappointment.
Seasonal affective dysfunction (SAD) — a situation that causes depressive signs and temper adjustments — is commonly linked to the darkish winter months, however it could possibly rear its head any time of 12 months, in line with specialists.
Dr. Michael Groat, director of psychology for Silver Hill Hospital in Connecticut, spoke with Fox News Digital about why some individuals endure from summer time disappointment.
SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER: HOW TO RECOGNIZE IT
There are two kinds of seasonal affective dysfunction, the physician stated.
“One is a winter pattern where the symptoms occur during the fall and winter months when there is less sunlight,” he stated.
“The other is a summer pattern, where the symptoms occur during the spring and summer months when it is lighter.”
“Symptoms of either pattern usually last four to five months,” he added.
Signs of summer time disappointment can embody issue sleeping, a scarcity of vitality, bother concentrating and even suicidal despair, Groat stated.
Individuals can also exhibit elevated restlessness, weight reduction and agitation.
Who is in danger?
Anyone can expertise intervals of disappointment, however current psychological well being circumstances can increase the danger.
Twenty-five % of individuals with bipolar dysfunction and 10%-20% of individuals with main depressive dysfunction even have seasonal affective dysfunction, in line with Groat.
Women are extra susceptible to the dysfunction than males, and it’s most definitely to start in youthful adults between the ages of 18 and 30.
“It is thought that the increased light found in the summer months affects the Circadian rhythm — the natural biological clock that regulates hormones, sleep and moods — of those who develop summertime SAD,” Groat defined.
This may clarify why individuals who reside in areas with lengthy winter nights (increased latitudes) and fewer daylight usually tend to expertise SAD, he added.
Preventing summer time disappointment
Although it might not at all times be preventable, there are steps one can take to reduce signs or maintain disappointment at bay, Groat stated.
“These steps include healthy lifestyle habits such as routine exercise and movement, good nutrition and healthy sleep,” he stated.
“Sleep in particular is essential for helping maintain mood stability. Effective stress management is also important.”
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Dr. Maggie Tipton, senior director of psychological companies at Caron Treatment Centers in Pennsylvania, additionally beneficial limiting alcohol consumption.
“Alcohol consumption often increases during the summer, and the depressant quality of alcohol can exacerbate feelings of summer sadness,” she informed Fox News Digital.
“It’s a time when we need to be increasingly mindful of intake.”
‘Consider taking a break from social media’
“If you find yourself increasing your scrolling on Instagram or Facebook, feeling jealous of others’ highlight reels or comparing your summer experiences to theirs — consider taking a break from social media,” stated Tipton.
“Be mindful and more thoughtful about your social media consumption and the times you are engaging,” she added.
Even if it seems that everybody in your feed is having the time of their lives, the physician famous that social media is a “highlight reel” of individuals’s lives, which might set “highly unrealistic expectations.”
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“Give yourself permission to do what makes you happy and what works for your lifestyle,” she stated.
“It’s OK to say no to a day by the pool if staying indoors is what you or your family really needs to reset and recharge so you can be your healthiest.”
She additionally stated, “The important thing is to figure out what you can do, regardless of season, that brings you happiness or contentment.”
Diagnosis and therapy
Those who’ve persistent signs can see a psychiatrist or psychological well being skilled for a analysis.
“If you’re feeling increased agitation, restlessness, changes in sleep patterns and/or a lack of appetite, these are signs you or a loved one may benefit from professional help,” Tipton stated.
The skilled can overview the signs, alongside with their period, to find out a analysis, Groat added.
“If the symptoms continue past summer, the diagnosis might change to major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder,” he stated.
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Summer SAD could be handled with psychotherapy, remedy and life-style, the physician stated.
“Individual psychotherapy can provide support and address underlying thoughts and feelings related to the experience of depression,” he stated.
“Medication, such as antidepressants, can provide relief of symptoms as well.”
Healthy life-style habits, resembling satisfactory sleep, good vitamin, social help and stress administration, additionally lay the inspiration for making certain well-being, specialists say.
Seeking “moments of joy” additionally helps to spice up psychological well being, stated Tipton.
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“Be creative and thoughtful with your summer plans, finding things that you can look forward to,” she steered.
“That may just mean having a favorite ice cream cone or taking in a summer concert, enjoying a picnic outside with your family or sitting outside to watch the sunset.”
She added, “Little pieces of daily joy can often mean as much as an extended vacation away.”
To learn extra items in Fox News Digital’s “Be Well” sequence, click on right here.