What comes to mind when you think of summer?  I bet for most people, summer means pool days, barbecues and vacations.  Depression probably isn’t the first thing that’s associated with summer.  But just google “Summertime Blues” and you’ll find several articles about depression and anxiety in the months of May, June, July, and August. 

If you get depressed or anxious during this season, you’re not alone. 

  1. Seasonal Affective Disorder

We most associate Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) with the winter and shorter days and colder temperatures.  However, 5% – 10% of all SAD cases occur in the summer! Experts still aren’t sure why reverse SAD occurs, but they do have theories and many people do experience it.

If you notice that the onset of summer triggers episodes of depression and/or anxiety, talk to your doctor or talk to an Atlanta depression therapist to help you navigate it. There are many different tools that they can help you discover to manage your symptoms and increase your quality of life.

2. Allergies

Believe it or not, allergies can play a role in developing or increasing depression and anxiety in the warmer months!  Many studies have found correlations between seasonal allergies and mood changes.  Some conclusions posit that the inflammation spike due to the biological allergic response also affects the brain. 

Another theory is that symptoms of allergies can disrupt sleep, and poor sleep can contribute to depressed mood and increased anxiety. 

If you suffer from seasonal allergies and notice depression/anxiety during these times, please see a doctor and an Atlanta depression therapist.

3. Trauma History

Anniversaries of a traumatic event can trigger mood changes.  Death of a loved one, a horrible accident, or even a bad breakup that occurred in the summer can trigger depression and anxiety in the summer months.  Or someone with combat trauma or trauma related to firearms may start to feel triggered as they brace themselves for fireworks season. 

Even if you’re not actively thinking about it, your body remembers.

If you’re experiencing symptoms and triggers in the aftermath of trauma, please contact an Atlanta therapist for help.

4. Changes in Routine

Pre-pandemic, summertime meant that our kiddos would be home full time.  In that instance, summer could mean an increase in expenses for day care/food/activities and more stress related to finances.  It might also bring the loss of personal time or pressure to fill every moment of your kiddo’s day.

Now, over a year into the pandemic, you might be struggling with the loss of a second year without vacation, seeing family during summer holidays, or being out and about with your family. 

Whatever the cause of your depression and anxiety in the summer, you do not have to be ashamed of it.  You do deserve good, competent care and support.  If you’re struggling with depression and anxiety, please call an Atlanta depression therapist to find out more or schedule an appointment.  You are not alone.