When Spring Brings You Down — Springtime and SAD
For most people, spring means a lift of spirits and a feeling of rejuvenation. Days start to last longer, the warmer weather brings people out of hibernation, and an increase in sunlight just makes them happy. For one out of ten people, however, the season has the opposite effect. Welcome to the world of Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder.
What is Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder?
For a small group of people, warmer weather brings the same feelings of sadness, lack of energy, and depressive symptoms that are experienced by the larger group of Seasonal Affective Disorder sufferers throughout the winter. Known as Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder, the condition isn’t entirely understood by researchers. It’s believed that similar to its cold weather cousin, this disorder is also influenced by biology and the environment.
Sufferers may feel even more isolated than those affected by winter SAD because it isn’t as common; while everyone else is scrambling to get outside, this group of individuals is now struggling to adapt and fight their depressive symptoms.
You may know a few of these individuals. They’re frequently the summer haters, finding themselves more irritable when it gets warm and disliking many spring and summer activities. In fact, the symptoms of R-SAD can be even more debilitating than those suffered by its cold weather cousin.
Some Possible Factors in this Disorder
While the science is less understood, it’s thought that a few factors may contribute to this disorder:
- Changes to schedule
- Increases in heat and humidity
- Genetic predisposition for depressive disorders
- The excess secretion of melatonin
For others struggling to come out of the winter blues, it could be that spring refuses to cooperate, bringing rain and unpredictable episodes of cooler weather despite promises of warmth and sunshine. March and April can seem like the longest months of the year for those anxious to enjoy warmer weather and sunlight. The difference between this group and those suffering from R-SAD is that once the weather begins to be consistent, the disorder will often lift until the following fall.
How to Battle Spring SAD
If spring has you feeling blue, try natural therapies:
- Maintain a normal routine
- Eat healthy meals
- Focus on getting a good night’s sleep
- Fit an exercise routine into your day, including a walk outside
- Find meaningful activities to fill your spare time
- Stay in touch with friends and family
Lightbox therapies are excellent treatment options for all forms of SAD, working to regulate the circadian cycle and the production of serotonin and melatonin levels in the body. Got the spring blues? Find a SunBox solution!