Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Summer Edition
Ah! At last, summer has arrived! Take a deep breath and smell the warm, fresh air, feel the chill of a newly-opened swimming pool, and finally relax from the busier seasons behind. The idea of summer is typically what gets us all through, yet summer is not all it is said to be. From a psychological standpoint, summer can actually be detrimental to our health. So, let us take a look at a few themes that have been found within the minds of youth and even adults in this next season.
To begin, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a very real mental deficit that affects a large amount of people annually. It is most associated with the winter season for the obvious cold, dark, and less-active trends. As we enter into summer, it is important to recognize the hidden trends buried within this supposedly “freeing” season.
ADHD Medication Withdraws:
As children/adolescents/adults are prescribed with ADHD medications throughout the general school year, summer seems to be a time to put these medications on hold. Students no longer have to focus in a classroom, so what is the point of these medications in the summer? Truthfully, this mindset can be problematic as these medications still hold great importance for children and adolescents. By skipping out on the prescribed medication for the summer, this could result in anxiety, mood swings, and depression. Keep in mind that it is important to stay on the medication as prescribed and if you are thinking of stopping, speak to your doctor first for the safest transition possible.
Depression and Anxiety:
Shockingly enough, it is possible to be depressed and/or anxious in the summer time. It is easy to neglect these feelings with all of the “fun” activities at our fingertips, but we should be making an effort to truly understand the dangers of these emotions. As our busy schedules come to a close and we suddenly have “nothing to do”, depression kicks in, with anxiety quickly following after. To prevent these detrimental mindsets, refer to the prevention techniques below.
With summer being far less structured than most seasons, loneliness comes into play as most people are out and about enjoying themselves with us left behind. For adults, loneliness may be near as work interferes with quality time in the day to enjoy the weather and fellowship. For children in school especially, summer is a lonely time as they have limited access/communication to their friends from school. It is important to create a stable community to surround ourselves with so that we feel that sense of involvement.
- Go outside as much as possible to enjoy the weather
- Sit down with your child and discuss medical goals regarding medication for the summer
- Create structure in your day to prevent loneliness and depression
- Volunteer, join a club, or participate in a sport to create friendships and self-actualization
- Find a job that will give purpose to daily routines and allow structure
- Set play dates for children to see their friends from school
- Use vacation time wisely
Weaver, Rheyanne. “Dealing with Mental Health Issues During the Summer.”GoodTherapy.org Therapy Blog. N.p., 30 Apr. 2012. Web. 01 June 2016.