Summer depression is a seasonal affective disorder that is often found in countries close to the equator. Despite the fact that summer is a time of flowers, vacations, and fascinating travels, a depressive disorder may develop during this period. Experts find it difficult to confidently name its causes and are inclined to believe that they are associated with an increase in the level of humidity in the air and the arrival of heat.
Summer depression, according to scientists, occupies a special place among seasonal affective conditions. Its main difference from autumn and winter depression is increased irritability and nervousness.
Causes of Summer Depression
Scientists have revealed that many residents of subtropical and tropical countries feel depressed mood in the summer and not in the winter.
In some cases, relapse of depressive disorder is associated with past negative experiences that arose during this time of the year. It is possible that in the past, in the summer, a sad event occurred that caused psychotrauma. In these cases, a depressive disorder will help the therapist eliminate. However, the causes of seasonal decline, in addition to biological programming, can be a number of other factors that are not related to mental health.
The cause of this disorder is a violation of the usual way of life, because with the onset of the vacation, the way of the whole family changes. The situation is very complicated by the fact that if there are schoolchildren in the family, then they remain unattended throughout the day. The solution to this problem entails an increase in nervous tension.
The inconvenience is also caused by the fact that with the arrival of heat and high humidity, a person is in constant stress. Steady, prolonged heat causes adverse heat sensations, which leads to overheating of the body. Therefore, it is important to learn to recognize signs of dehydration and overheating of the body. The first signs of this condition include: headache, general weakness, apathy, dizziness, nausea, loss of appetite, insomnia, vomiting, difficulty with physical exertion.
Summer depression in most cases is due to biological causes, but there are cases when the disorder is caused by certain stress experienced in the summer. What aggravates summer depression most of all is a person’s understanding that he should have a good time. After all, summer is when everyone is happy, relaxing, swimming in the sea, in a river or in the pool, sunbathing on sun loungers.
The following factors also affect the development of summer depression:
- summer vacation, which violates the usual schedule of food and sleep;
- an increase in air temperature and a desire to put on less clothes on oneself leads a person to the next problem - dissatisfaction with their appearance. Due to the feeling of shame that arises from dissatisfaction with his appearance, a person often refuses to wear shorts or a swimsuit, and does not allow himself to spend time near ponds;
- the summer period brings a lot of financial expenses, which also contributes to the development of a depressed state.
Symptoms of Summer Depression
With this disorder, the world is losing its brightness, becoming gloomy and dreary. It would seem that it makes it difficult to enjoy the sun's rays, enjoy the bright colors, but often the mood does not allow a person to behave this way.
Summer depression is a fairly common disorder in women. The reasons that contribute to the development of this condition are many. Unjustified expectations or the slightest discomfort can provoke this disorder. Open clothes in women cause a lot of painful experiences associated with criticism of appearance. Seeing their imperfections, the fair sex begin to plague themselves with diets and lose weight. Experiences due to flaws in the figure and constant diets can also lead to a nervous breakdown.
Long, warm evenings contribute to gatherings until late, and as a result, everyone goes to bed very late. Lack of sleep in the summer becomes a familiar thing, which also provokes the development of a depressive state.
Summertime is not suitable for physical, intense training, but at the same time, you should not throw the usual training regimen. It will be advisable to replace power exercises with overstrain with simpler ones and not strain the body that is experiencing temperature overload.
Symptoms of summer depression are manifested by impaired sleep, loss of appetite and weight, the appearance of anxiety, feeling unwell due to heat intolerance. Many people tolerate extreme temperature conditions, they can spend days on the beach. But for people who tolerate heat very poorly, summer is a depressing time of the year. Such people spend the weekend in their apartments in front of the TV. They avoid the usual evening walks due to the increased humidity, stop cooking in the kitchen, because it is unbearable in the heat there.
The presence of the following symptoms also indicates a mental disorder and the development of a depressed state:
- unwillingness to work;
- increased fatigue;
- increased excitability.
Summer depression, what to do? Do not take the symptoms of depression as worthless attention and take them for something insignificant. It will be advisable to seek the help of a psychologist or psychotherapist. Sometimes, a minor disorder that started as a summer depression can turn into an attack of acute depression, which will be much more difficult to treat.
And if the symptoms of depression begin to disappear with the advent of autumn, then this does not mean that you do not need to see a doctor in the summer. After all, we are talking about 3 months of untreated suffering. The shortest depression can cause great harm. Even if the symptoms go away after a few months, the effect on working capacity and the family may continue for a while.
How to cope with summer depression? Summer depression has one most important advantage: a person knows when it will come. And if the calendar is not yet June, you should think about the negative moments that appear with the advent of summer and prepare for this disorder in advance. You need to think about what actions committed previously will help to avoid the approaching depressive state. To do this, you need to draw up a summer action plan that will ease the summer depression. For example, so that parents do not develop depression due to the fact that the child is left alone in the summer without adult supervision, you can write him to a summer camp.
It is advisable to continue to play sports (exercise helps prevent the development of summer depression). The most important thing is not to overdo it with physical activity, as training for wear can make a person irritable and unhappy. In the summer, it is very important not to experiment with diets and monitor the quality of your sleep, adhering to your usual routine.
Prevention of summer depression includes the following activities:
- you should not go outside in the sun, but you need to wait out the hot hours under air conditioning;
- in hot weather it is impossible to stay for a long time in rooms where there is no regular rapid air exchange inside, and the temperature rises above the ambient temperature outside;
- you should drink more liquid (green tea, mineral water);
- it is required to saturate the body with vitamins (fruits, berries, vegetables);
- If possible, you can go to the northern regions;
- it is important to observe the daily routine;
- it is necessary to stimulate a positive attitude and enjoy the benefits of summer;
- It is recommended to wear light, light, loose-fitting clothing. The head should also be covered: hat, scarf, panama hat. Outdoors, it is better to stay in the shade;
- Avoid wearing synthetic clothes and tight underwear. It is important to protect your skin from sunburn and wear sunglasses;
- it is necessary not to give up completely on physical exertion;
- if summer depression overcomes and takes an unwanted turn, then you should seek the help of specialists. Psychologists, psychotherapists, psychoneurologists will help to cope with summer depressive disorder.