Coping with SAD in the summer sun | canada.com

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The skies are blue so why are you?

When the sun rises but your mood drops, you could have reversed the Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). While we know all about the cold, we have days of winter bringing us down, well sunny days with fun and festivities and dark moods.

"It’s not about being a party pooper. "Summer-onset depression can really bring some people down," says Dr. Vinay Saranga, at psychiatrist at sarangapsychiatry.com. “Reverse SAD is real. The sun, to them, is utterly oppressive. It drains and exhausts them. They are energized on cloudy days. This type of exhaustion can isolated people and intensify feelings of sadness and anxiety. "

Most of us get energized by warm, sunny days, but for Janet Otter there ain't no sunshine where she goes. No fun in the sun. The 54-year-old GTA says it’s “reverse hibernation, wanting to hide in the summer rather than the winter. I don´t want to go out. I can´t sleep, I lose my appetite, I dwell on stupid little things "

And while there is no case for summer sadness. "It´s basically unheard of – and the isolation is so painful," adds Otter.

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"Summertime SAD sufferers have a hard time", says Saranga. "It makes them sick, sad and in many cases, unable to function and even leave the house."

According to mooddisorders.ca, 15% of Canadians will experience a mild form of SAD, while 2 – 6% will experience full-blown SAD in their lifetime. About 10% of them experience depressive episodes in the reverse pattern, during summer months instead of the winter ones, Saranga estimates.

The long days, excess light and increased heat can throw off the body's internal clock. "That brings disturbances in our sleep cycle and may even mess with the brain's production of neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine which causes depression and anxiety," says Saranga.

In addition, the summer's lack of structure can support the disorder. “People tend to move at a slower peace. Kids are home from school. "He says. Many of us take vacation, which while pleasurable, messes with our routine." Financial stress – people tend to spend more on trips and other family experiences – can exacerbate the disorder.

Interestingly, birth season may play a role in who develops depressive disorder, with winter babies more prone to suffer SAD, according to research at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.

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Do you have summertime SAD?

  • Depressed mood
  • fatigue
  • Low self-esteem
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Appetite and weight changes
  • Withdrawal from activities that are usually pleasurable
  • Avoiding family, friends and social situations
  • A desire to stay inside

Tips for SAD sufferers from Dr. Vinay Saranga:

  • Get professional help: Psychotherapy and medication can help greatly,
  • Don't beat yourself up: SAD is your fault and has a real biological cause, just like many other medical conditions.
  • Avoid excess heat and time outdoors.
  • Get on a schedule.

What to say to someone with SAD:

"Just get over it." Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Just like you can't snap your fingers and get over diabetes, you just can't magically make your SAD disappear.

"You’re no fun!" SAD has nothing to do with having fun. Those who suffer would rather have fun than having to deal with this condition.

"I'm here for you." "We do what makes you comfortable." "Is there anything I can do to help?" "We'll move at your peace." Encourage them and give them a gentle push – don't be forceful or demanding.

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