Like a gray veil
How do you recognize summer depression?
07/24/2022, 3:39 pm
Sun, lightness and holidays – summer is good for many people. But not all. The warm season affects the psyche of some. This can reach the point of depressive moods, as summer is covered by a gray veil. And even the best ice cream in the world will not bring happiness anymore. Compared to the winter depression, the summer depression is less well known. Although less common, it is also a form of seasonal depression – more so than melancholy. Andreas Hagmann, Specialist in psychiatry and psychotherapy and medical director of the private clinic Eschweiler near Aachen, It explains what is behind it and what are the signs one should take it seriously.
Mr. Hageman, why can depressive moods occur in the summer?
Andreas Hajemann: In winter the main cause is a lack of sunlight and an overproduction of the so-called sleep hormone melatonin, which can lead to depressive moods. Of course it’s different in the summer. Science suspects that the body’s production of melatonin decreases in the summer with the amount of sunlight – and the body’s biochemical processes are mixed.
Apart from that, stress is a factor that promotes the development of depression. And if you have an expectation in the summer “I have to enjoy it and everyone around me is cheerful and happy” – and this is not fulfilled then, then this means a lot of stress and pressure.
How do you recognize the so-called summer depression?
While winter depression is characterized by a depressed mood, a lack of motivation and an increased feeling of hunger, this is somewhat different in the summer variant. It manifests itself, for example, in internal restlessness and a decrease in the feeling of hunger, but also in sleep disturbances.
You should also be aware if you have these symptoms for the second, third, or fourth time in the summer. Of course, not every low mood is depressed. But if you’ve been stuck in a hole like this for 14 days, you should consider getting professional help. Ideally, the first point of contact is the family doctor. He can then refer to more information.
And what can sufferers do themselves to make themselves feel better – also in parallel with occupational therapy?
Anything that reduces stress and helps you relax. These can be very different things: for example, sports or relaxation methods such as progressive muscle relaxation, yoga or meditation. But do not expect miracles. Once you do yoga, chances are you’re not completely balanced and instantly relaxed. It is good when a routine of different building blocks is set so that you can refer to it. Even if the disease develops in the future.
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