When the temperature heats up and school winds down, many people eagerly await summer. The long lazy days, vacations, and trips to the pool, are all part of what makes summer fun, right? For some people, this is the farthest thing from the truth. Summertime blues are a real thing. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is commonly associated with the long, cold, dark days of winter, however, reverse SAD is present in 1/10th of all SAD cases according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Reverse SAD is caused by too much sunlight, the opposite of traditional seasonal affective disorder which is triggered by a lack of sunlight. For depression therapy in Charlotte, NC you can trust, call Legacy Freedom.
The summer fun stealing culprit, serotonin, and its partner in crime, melatonin, are to blame. Shifts in sleeping patterns because of the longer, lighter, brighter days may be to blame for the decrease in the brain's production of melatonin and an increase in the production of serotonin. This increase in serotonin can lead to those feelings of laziness, loss of appetite, depression, and withdrawal. The heat in the summer also seems to affect those with reverse SAD, according to researchers. While traditional SAD sufferers find that winter makes them lack energy, reverse SAD patients report feeling agitated and may launch into a manic state.
Many people who suffer from reverse SAD are often misdiagnosed with anxiety or depression. With fewer studies dedicated to reverse SAD, the condition can be missed if patients and physicians are unable to make the connection between the patterns of behavior and the time of the year. There are ways to help combat this summertime slump:
- Protect your sleep patterns. The extra light during the season can disrupt your normal circadian rhythm. This disruption can throw your body and brain chemistry off track and can increase the production of serotonin even more. Install room darkening curtains or blinds to help block out the extra light. Set a bedtime routine and avoid deviating from it.
- Watch your diet. Increasing your intake of caffeine, carbohydrates and prepared meats like hot dogs and cold cuts can have an adverse effect on your mood. Instead, take advantage of the availability of summer produce and choose whole, natural foods.
- Wear your sunglasses. Blocking out the extra light can help your mood. Avoid being outside in the afternoon or evening when exposure to light could further interrupt your circadian rhythm.
Depression Therapy in Charlotte, NC That Works
If none of these techniques seem to improve your mood, or you just can't shake the blues, then it may be time to call Legacy Freedom of Charlotte. Our expert staff is familiar with SAD and reverse SAD. We know that this disorder alters your life in many ways. Utilizing a holistic approach to mental health, we create a care plan that is focused on you and your needs. Your care team will help you choose from more than ten alternative therapies that spark your interest and challenge you. Combined with our traditional talk therapy approach, these alternative therapies allow us to treat the whole person, not just their mental illness.
Whether you are new to experiencing the symptoms of a seasonal affective disorder, you have struggled with it for years, or are concerned about a friend or loved one who is going through these issues, help is just a phone call or a click away. Reach out today and stop struggling with your seasonal affective disorder in silence. We can help you with quality depression therapy in Charlotte, NC.