Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is most commonly associated with the dark depths of winter, when the seemingly unending dreary weather, reduced hours of sunlight and ever-present drizzle may trigger symptoms of depression and melancholy in even the hardiest of optimists. However, much less commonly acknowledged is what has sometimes been referred to as ‘reverse SAD’, i.e. depression and anxiety triggered by the summer weather, and the season popularly associated with parties, picnics, BBQs, long walks in the park and dream holidays in the sun.
For people with a predisposition to depression, or others who are experiencing a period of melancholy and low mood, summer sun may have a tendency to exacerbate the feelings. This could be because of the emphasis on having a good time and being surrounded by a circle of smiling friends, an adoring partner or the clichéd happy family, when one’s reality is anything but. Meanwhile, the bright, cheeriness of the outside world during high summer can jar with the dullness one is feeling inside, which may be much more congruent with the winter greyness and chill. There becomes a greater emphasis on what we ‘should’ be doing, and how we ‘should’ be feeling, which can result in an increased sense of pressure and strain on ourselves for not meeting with this so-called ‘ideal’.
At The Grove, we understand how debilitating depression can be at all times, and especially when it appears that the rest of the world is having a wonderful time and is full of the joys of summer, even if our rational mind knows that this is most likely not the full story. We also understand how summer can feel a lonely time, if you’re continuously walking past groups of people congregating in parks, bars and pavement cafés and feeling on your own. Perhaps you are starting to think about how things might be different next year, which at the moment seems a long way off. Maybe there were similar thoughts there last summer, and now it’s suddenly 12 months later and little seems to have changed. This is where The Grove can help.
If you are feeling in a low mood that just won’t shift, we can work to help you manage your mood, and slowly make the changes that will lead to a more contented way of being. We understand that it is difficult, if not impossible, to make those changes on your own, but that a lot can be achieved when working with someone else.
The counsellors and therapists at The Grove have experience and training in working with people who are melancholic, and struggling to feel optimistic about their future. While we cannot make changes for you, we can support you in exploring your feelings, their origins, and what you can do to help move yourself on from this rut.
If you are feeling low, depressed or isolated contact The Grove today for your free 30-minute assessment. We will have a chat about what you are feeling and what is going on for you, and will then pair you up with a counsellor who will work with you where you are, and won’t try and push you or hurry your progress. We understand the way you are feeling, and will give you the opportunity to explore in a safe, confidential and non-judgemental space.