Does the “S’ in Seasonal Affective Disorder Mean…Summer?
It is widely known that seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, affects us because our reptilian brains recognize the slowly dwindling daylight as a cause for hormonal transition. As the days get shorter and the air grows colder, there seems to be some degree of adaptive “hunkering down,” which in modern times may manifest as symptoms of lethargy and depression.
But SAD can affect another population as well, this one a mirror image of the first. As the Daily Mail reports, roughly 1% of SAD sufferers find themselves in the doldrums not when winter begins, but when summer does:
‘Up to 8 per cent of the population are estimated to have winter SAD, and around 1 per cent have the summer version,’ explains Lance Workman, a professor of psychology at the University of South Wales.
‘But while it’s a relatively small number who have a serious problem with summer SAD, around 10 per cent of people will find their mood changes for the worse to some degree during the summer months.’
It is not unreasonable to imagine that greeting the summertime with a case of the doldrums must be a particular torture — an exotic version of an affliction which few others will ever share or understand. Yet there is a ray of hope for the summer sadness: some people believe that SAD may be linked to more common seasonal allergies:
People who found that their mood worsened during high pollen counts were more likely to have a non-winter variety of seasonal affective disorder, according to a study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders in 2007.
The best way to understand your response the changing seasons is to visit a doctor who can offer exhaustive allergy and sinus testing. Please contact the Los Angeles Sinus Institute to learn more.