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Seasonal affective disorder is most well known for occurring during the winter. Shorter daylight hours means less exposure to sunshine and Vitamin D, which can help regulate mood. Earlier dark hours change the way the circadian rhythm operates. Our circadian rhythm is our sleep cycle and dictates to the brain when to produce brain chemicals like melatonin to start the process of sleep. Melatonin signals the brain to slowly shut down in preparation for rest. though we tend to feel more sleepy later in the day, melatonin still actually starts producing in the afternoon hours as the sun makes its approach toward setting. During the winter, the sun sets earlier, causing melatonin to produce earlier. As a result, we feel more sleepy and lethargic, which can inspire feelings of depression.

Summertime is usually a welcome reprieve for individuals who struggle with SAD during the winter. Long sunlight hours generously give the body copious amounts of Vitamin D. Higher temperatures are more inspiring to get outside and move around in the natural environment, which promotes better mood and mental wellbeing. Sunsets late into the nighttime hours means that melatonin produces later on, leaving less lethargy and creating more energy. Summertime is pleasurable, but not for all.

Seasonal affective disorder can be experienced during the summer as well. For some people, summer is welcomed as begrudgingly as winter is for others. Hot temperatures, dry winds, and sticky humidity make people as uncomfortable as the cold does for others. Sunshine is a bother. Heat is irritating. Feeling uncomfortable and irritated takes a toll as does the shame and frustration of not being able to enjoy summer like everyone else. Some people simply don’t enjoy summer and it is because they experience seasonal affective disorder. Other people experience SAD in the summer as a result of trauma. The Anniversary Effect of trauma can be closely related to SAD. If trauma has occurred in or near the summertime, the brain and body recognize the changing of the seasons. In preparation to relive the memories and cope with the trauma, the brain and body can change behaviors, including become more irritable, restless, discontent, as well as depressed.

Coping With SAD In The Summer

When it feels like the whole world is telling you to get out into the sunshine and explore, it can be extra frustrating that all you want to do is turn the sun off and hide away in a polar lair. Trauma recovery allows you to choose your lifestyle for yourself and break way from the many unimportant ways the world tells you to be someone other than who you are. If summer isn’t your chosen time of year, make compromises. Try taking a seasonal trip to the southern hemisphere where there is winter happening. Take road trips into the mountains thousands of feet above sea level where snow caps are still frozen and temperatures are still a chilly cold. Consider taking up a cool-air activity, like going to the movies, ice skating, or other indoor activities. Don’t feel that you have to participate in summer activities which make you uncomfortable or feel ashamed of your preferences. Authentically embrace who you authentically are and live your life in the way which serves your health and happiness the most.

The Guest House Ocala specializes in the treatment of trauma, addictions, and related mental health issues like anxiety. Everyone has a story. If you are living with unmanageable anxiety as a result of trauma it is critical for you to know, you are not alone. Help is available. You can and you will recover. Call us today for information on our custom plans of treatment and our private luxury care: 1-855-483-7800