Is Summer Depression Exists?

We all have heard of “winter depression” and even “spring depression”. But did you ever get to hear about summer depression? Sun is often associated with positive emotions, let alone on a biological and hormonal level, sun’s radiation does help to level up one’s mood. Not many know how the process work, to be honest neither do I, but here is a scientific claim that will hopefully shed some light on this phenomena…

How does sunlight help with depression? Serotonin is associated with boosting mood and helping a person feel calm and focused. At night, darker lighting triggers the brain to make another hormone called melatonin. This hormone is responsible for helping you sleep. Without enough sun exposure, your serotonin levels can dip. A new study shows that the brain produces more of the mood-lifting chemical serotonin on sunny days than on darker days. Researchers say the findings provide more evidence that lack of sunlight and reduced serotonin levels are important in the development of seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

With that in mind, it may appear that your chances of falling deep into depression are lower in the summer time, when there is fun and parties all around, pool, cocktails, colorful clothes on sale, music everywhere, fountains, beach…

This is how a regular person sees the summer. But not someone with borderline personality disorder (BPD). For a BPD-affected person, season has very little meaning. You can be the happiest person on earth when it is -10c outside, IF someone payed attention to you, was affectionate and caring. On the other hand, if you are got to hear a very small, perhaps meaningless but insulting comment, (like someone just suggested you are 500 pounds overweight), you can fall on your knees crying even if there is a party all around.

Yes, I talk from experience.

I did notice though, that when I spend time predominantly by the pool, like these days, when the heatwave swept Europe away with temperatures rising up to +48c in some southern parts of Europe, my mood is a lot better, but I’d attribute it to the fact that my attention is heavily distracted. Obviously, it’s very hard to concentrate on swimming, watching your child in the pool and looking after your glass of cocktail AND at the same time sink deep into the past traumas and unsolved conflicts.

I have noticed this phenomena for many years now, that the best way to fight depression is so get as much destructed form your black thoughts, as possible.

While some might say it’s escapism or running away from problems, I think it all depends on the degree and “quality” of your escape. If you “escape” into the world of drugs, bing eating or other reckless behavior, you obviously set yourself up for a failure. However, if you “escape” into the world of comedies, time out with friends, diving into your hobbies or traveling, you will get to destruct yourself from the emotional havoc you are in, without messing up the mental state you are in even further.

Just my 2 cents for those of you who might find yourself in a bit of a blues amidst the beautiful summer days. Have a wonderful day!

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  • Reply Laura August 8, 2018 at 7:10 am

    Depressive feelings in the summer can be related to different factors. One possibility is that the day-night rhythm gets disrupted because it is so long light. Many people sleep worse in the summer. It may also be that sombre feelings are more noticeable because we are cheerful to ‘hear’. If you feel gloomy despite the sun, your feelings can not be caused by the weather.

    As with other depressive feelings, heredity plays a role in seasonal depression. The same applies to negative thinking, loneliness and poor health. All these factors increase the chance of depression.

    Often the gloomy feelings automatically disappear. If the dip lasts longer than two weeks, it is better not to wait. Admit that you are sad, talk about it with family or friends or seek help online. If you do not overcome the gloomy feelings in this way, you can discuss the complaints with your doctor.

  • Reply Nicky NL August 8, 2018 at 7:11 am

    Approximately 0.1 percent of the population in the Netherlands is affected by a summer depression, so it DOES exist!!!!

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