Bitter cold, inches of snow, short and dark days. The weather in winter can trigger some level of depression in people. However, about 10% of people with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) get it in the reverse - the onset of summer triggers their depression symptoms.
Once again it's weather that contributes to this condition. The longer days of summer, increasing heat and smoke, and of course, wildfires can cause anxiety, loss of appetite, trouble sleeping and weight loss.
Lots of people relish the sweltering heat, but for the people who don't the summer heat can become truly oppressive. Some people can become reclusive, hiding out indoors in air-conditioning.
Because of the heat, people may not exercise as frequently and thus have fewer endorphins released. If it's too stifling to cook, some people may rely on unhealthy fast food options.
Other things that contribute to summer sad include vacations and disrupted schedules, body image issues, financial worries and having to entertain children that are out of school.
If you think you may be affected by summer Seasonal Affective Disorder, get help and talk to a professional. Make sure to get enough sleep and keep up with your exercise.
And don't forget, the seasons will change, especially here in Montana. If you or a loved one are having thoughts of suicide, please reach out.
The Montana Suicide Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255 or you can text “MT” to 741 741. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
More information about resources available for suicide prevention and survivor of suicide loss can be found here.