Summer depression: a disease that has hardly been researched

“Summertime Sadness”
Do you also suffer from summer depression?

Summer depression is a poorly understood disease

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Summer, sun, happiness? Not for all people. How to recognize summer depression and how to treat it.

While summer is the favorite season for some – after all, there is usually plenty of sun, warm temperatures and plenty of ice – some people in Germany do not particularly enjoy this time of year: they fall into summer depression. In this article we have summarized what it is, what signs it is and how you can treat it.

Summer depression: More than just “Summertime Sadness”

The medical term for summer depression is “seasonal depression” – and this also means the more well-known “winter depression”. In fact, seasonal affective disorder is the correct term for both forms of depression—although less common, seasonal depressive moods can also occur in the summer. According to the Medical University of Graz, it is assumed that around 4 to 6 percent of the population suffer from summer depression, with women between the ages of 20 and 40 being the most affected. In contrast to winter depression, summer depression has hardly been studied to date.

Summer messes up body and psyche

The disturbed day-night rhythm, which has an impact on the hormone balance, is considered a possible cause. “When the days are longer in summer and the sun shines brighter, there could be disruptions in the production and/or release of the hormone melatonin. This leads to inner turmoil, but could also affect other chemical processes that eventually lead to true depression lead,” says a press release from the university. Another possible factor lies in the disturbed rhythm that humans have, because in summer there are holidays, vacations and long days that disrupt the regular daily routine – which is very important for the psyche.

How to recognize summer depression – and what to do about it

A summer depression manifests itself through inner restlessness and a reduced feeling of hunger, but also through sleep disorders, says Andreas Hagemann, specialist in psychiatry and psychotherapy in an interview with “Apotheken Umschau”. You should be particularly careful if you notice the symptoms mentioned again and again in the summer. “Of course, not every low mood is depression,” explains the doctor, “but if you’re stuck in a hole like that for 14 days, you should think about getting professional help.”

Routine is important – preferably from several building blocks

Ideally, the first point of contact should be the family doctor. From there you can be forwarded, according to the specialist. And what can you do yourself? Hagemann recommends sports or relaxation methods such as yoga or meditation. “Don’t expect miracles right away, though. Once you do yoga, you probably aren’t totally balanced and relaxed right away.” Above all, routine is important, if possible with different components, Hagemann continues.

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