Summer depression more and more widespread!
The transition from one season to another represents, for many people, a phase of great stress which, in addition to putting a strain on the body, also affects the mood , causing the so-called ‘ summer depression ‘ or ‘ Summer Blues ‘. Bad mood and tiredness are the most common sensations but, usually, a few days are enough to regain serenity and full efficiency. It is in the summer, however, that a simple melancholy can turn into a more difficult problem to deal with: the so-called Summer Blues .
To differentiate the summer depressionfrom other states of seasonal melancholy and the fact that it is not just the consequence of a change in climate. Its origin is mainly due to the new rhythms and, not surprisingly, it tends to concern people who are particularly devoted to work, unwilling to “switch off”, who risk being disoriented during the classic summer holidays. Having a lot of time at your disposal inevitably leaves more room for reflection, for the realization of past life budgets and future plans.
They can thus appear suddenly: anxiety attacks, lack of appetite, difficulty in falling asleep and apathy. If in many cases a few days are enough for these phenomena to tend to reduce in intensity, until they disappear, it is not uncommon for the mood to worsen to the point of making it impossible to carry out normal daily activities and making it appear insuperable even small problems and adversity.
On these occasions it is not too dangerous to talk about Summer Blues, depression in the summerwhich, in recent years, seems to affect an ever-increasing number of people. According to data collected by the National Alliance of Mental Illness, nearly 10% of adults in the US would not be immune. Worldwide, the numbers are a little more comforting, with the summer depression affecting only one person in a hundred.
Although many tend to associate depression in the summer with the “winter spleen” (an even more widespread phenomenon, affecting 5% of the world population), in reality it should be emphasized that many symptoms are different. If insomnia and loss of appetite are typical of summer, in winter, on the contrary, there is a tendency to increase the quantity of food introduced and to sleep longer.
The Summer BluesIt was first mentioned by Norman E. Rosenthal in 1984, when the South African psychiatrist distinguished it from typical mood disorders. Today, all scholars agree in identifying the increase in sunshine hours as one of the causes of summer depression : it is the long exposure to natural light, in fact, that unbalances the physiological production of melatonin.
But also high temperatures and new daily habits (falling asleep and waking up later, changing nutrition, spending several hours of the day outdoors) can cause predisposed subjects to suddenly feel uncomfortable. In short, the living conditions of the summer, although apparently favorable, risk giving rise to anxiety,
Remedies to improve mood naturally
It is vital that people who are victims of the Summer Blues view their seasonal depression as an opportunity to improve their habits. In doing so – once the most difficult phase has been overcome – it will be possible to regain the lost feeling of well-being; and at the same time, there will be greater awareness of one’s strengths. Sometimes, however, depression in the summer is perceived so negatively that it is extremely difficult to think in these terms.
Fortunately, there are several remedies to improve mood. First of all, sporting activity, from which the body and mind are able to greatly benefit: practicing sports helps to release endorphins, whose contribution to well-being is essential. Even simple walks in the open air, surrounded by greenery, are of great help against depression . Even better would be to engage in sport in company: time will pass faster, the perceived fatigue will be less, and the bonds with loved ones will become closer.
Plants are also part of the remedies to improve mood. Hypericum tincture(50 drops in a glass containing cold water), for example, is recommended to reduce symptoms of depression in the summer. Its components stimulate serotonin which, in turn, has a positive effect on mood. Finally, multivitamin supplements – especially those containing thiamine, folic acid and vitamin B6 – also have a positive influence on mood.
Nutrition: some tips to regain optimism
Equally important and, as always, nutrition: a lack of essential nutrients negatively impacts the psyche. It should also be considered that those who are depressed have a tendency to increase the consumption of sweets and fats; but sugars – which at first can “deceive”, giving an immediate feeling of relief – actually end up further weakening the mood, also causing an energy drop.
Instead, foods rich in proteins should be increased in the diet. The latter give a sense of satiety, guaranteeing energy for several hours. Speaking of drinks, some people mistakenly believe that a couple of drinks can help with anxiety and stress. People looking for remedies to improve their moodthey would do better, however, to consume less alcohol. As with sugars, in fact, an initial feeling of well-being is followed by a long phase of black mood.
Although the summer season leads to greater freedom, it is important that those prone to depression in the summer maintain a certain regularity – not only with regard to meals. A stable routine will allow you to better organize your days, to the benefit of serenity. Finally, considering how summer depression includes insomnia among its symptoms, it is preferable to sleep in well-ventilated rooms, inside which light is hard to enter: a well-darkened room will be of great help for the biological clock.