NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Summer is just days away, and while many say it is the best time of the year for others the summer triggers depression.
As CBS2’s Maurice Dubois reported, there are people who find themselves suffering from summer sadness.
It’s called summer seasonal affective disorder, or “summer sad.” It’s the opposite of winter sad that causes seasonal depression in the winter, but it can be just as debilitating.
“Mostly I get sad and that’s pervasive,” Greg Flick said. “I feel like everything is just rubbing me the wrong way.”
Not much is known about what causes the disorder. Researchers said some just can’t stand the heat, while others are sensitive to light or have disrupted sleep from longer days.
It often goes undiagnosed.
“People don’t realize it’s something they should seek help about. They think ‘oh, I just don’t like summer,'” Dr. Victor Fiorina said.
Making it worse, others just can’t believe anyone wouldn’t like summer.
“After hearing from so many people, ‘you’ve got to be nuts to hate the summertime,’ so often, you begin to hear that and perhaps accept it as possibly real,” Flick said.
Flick found support on the internet in posts by others with the disorder.
“Feeling really down in the dumps, so ready for winter,” wrote one.
“As the days get longer, my mood sinks and I feel horrible,” another wrote.
Dr. Jephtha Tausig said for many just being diagnosed is a relief.
“It’s not that it’s all in their head. It’s not that they’re somehow weird, it has to do with the fact that there’s an actual real syndrome going on here and it’s something we can intervene with,” Dr. Tausig said.
Strategies that help include staying out of the sun during peak hours, taking melatonin to improve sleep, and not feeling guilty by not taking part in summer fun.
“I can’t promise that it’s going to be the most delightful summer ever, but they certainly can have a better time,” Dr. Tausig said.
Psychotherapy and medication can also help.
Most people with summer sad said their mood begins to lift in September.