Dubai: Often warm, sunny days are known to lift a person’s mood. However, there is a chance that the summer season brings with it a dip in your energy and mood. The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) took to its social media channels to raise awareness about the mental health issue of summer depression and how residents can identify the issue and get help.
Here is all you need to know.
Symptoms of summer depression
Symptoms of summer depression may include:
• Weight loss
• Trouble sleeping (Insomnia)
• Agitation or anxiety
• Poor appetite
What can cause summer depression?
Contributing factors include:
Increased heat and humidity
May case some biological changes that affect the brain chemistry, as well as feelings of discomfort and the desire to stay at home.
Changes in daily routines
Changes in bedtime and meal times as a result of vacations, school or university holidays and other changes that may trigger symptoms of depression.
Expenses might be high during summer, especially if you want to travel, which might increase anxiety and depression during summer.
The following factors can further complicate the situation for those vulnerable to depression:
• Social isolation.
• Substance abuse.
• Other mental health disorders such as anxiety or eating disorders.
• Suicidal thoughts or behaviour.
• School or work problems.
Factors that may increase your risk of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
The general term for depression related to changes is season is referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. According to Mayo Clinic, it begins and ends at about the same times every year, whether you are affected by the winter season or summer.
According to DHA, some of the factors that may increase one’s risk of SAD include:
• Personal history of depression.
• Family history.
• Gender: Women experience SAD more often than men.
• Geography: SAD appears to be more common among people who live far north or south of the equator. This may be due to decreased sunlight during the winter and longer days during the summer months.
Tips for coping with summer depression
• Get help.
• Plan ahead.
• Keep up with your exercise.
• Talk to your doctor about adjusting your medication.
• Plan your vacation carefully.
• Don’t beat yourself up.
Treatments fall into four main categories that may be used alone or in combination:
• Light therapy or phototherapy
• Antidepressant medications
• Vitamin D
Talk to your health care provider about which treatment or combination of treatments is best for you.