You’ve probably heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder, right? A condition typically afflicting those in colder climates due to the typically dark and gloomy weather making them feel depressed. Well, there is a Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder that can affect those in warmer climates, such as here in Florida. Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder refers to the sudden sadness that can develop in warm temperatures. The longer days and increasing heat of summer may play a role in reverse seasonal affective disorder. Here are some of the possible causes of reverse seasonal affective disorder:
1. The High Temperatures
Reverse SAD may occur because of the heat of summer. With it being unbearably hot outside, people may elect to stay in their houses with the air-conditioner on rather than going out. They may stay indoors rather than go for their daily walk or choose takeout rather than cooking.
2. A Dysregulation of Neurotransmitters
SAD has always been linked to the production of serotonin and melatonin in the body and brain. With reverse SAD, there may be a dysregulation of serotonin/melatonin production in the body which affects the mood of affected people.
3. Changing Schedules
The summer can cause disrupted schedules. Daily schedules are interrupted with school being on vacation and even your sleep schedule can be affected. People tend to go to sleep later during the summer and may develop insomnia. These changes in a person’s life can cause stress and anxiety which may contribute to reverse SAD.
While there is no comprehensive research on this, reverse SAD is also hypothetically thought of to be a genetic disorder. Meaning that it can be passed down to family members for generations.
5. Financial Worries and Body Image Issues
With summer comes vacations and less clothes. These can be a source of depression for some people as they worry about affording vacations or summer child care. Some people even feel depressed due to body image issues and feeling embarrassed in a bathing suit or a pair of shorts.
Living in Florida, reverse seasonal affective disorder is a very real possibility for some with the warm temperatures we experience. However, being aware of the symptoms and what might be causing it are important first steps. If you are feeling particularly down during the summer months, it may be reverse seasonal affective disorder. Please seek help if these feelings become overwhelming and intrusive.
Alexis Lopez is a recent graduate from the University of Florida where she graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. She began interning under Amanda Landry at Caring Therapists of Broward in April 2017. Her interest in Counseling Psychology began during her time at UF when she took a class titled Intro to Counseling Psychology and has admired the field of counseling and therapy ever since. She hopes to one day become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor herself and is in the process of applying to graduate school. She looks forward to working with Amanda and her team at Caring Therapists of Broward and is eager to learn all she can during her time here.