SAD In The Summer

Seasonal Affective Disorder also strikes in the warmer months. Olga Khazan outlines the possible reasons why:

One recent study suggests summertime SAD is caused by allergies, with people reporting worse moods on days the air was thick with pollen. Another theory is that the intense summer light is just as disruptive as winter’s long, cold nights. People might be staying up later in the summer, suspects Alfred Lewy, a professor of psychiatry at Oregon Health and Science University, thus throwing their body clocks for a loop. He told NBC News that he treats summertime SAD patients by suggesting they get early-morning sun and take melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep. …

And then there’s the simplest explanation: People just can’t stand the heat. Thomas Wehr, a scientist emeritus at the National Institute of Mental Health who first documented SAD, says that when people with warm-weather depression were “wrapped in cooling blankets at night, their temperatures dropped and their symptoms disappeared. As soon as they went outside into the summer heat, their depression returned.”