It felt like it took a while to get here but it finally feels as though the summer is here to stay (at least for a while anyway). Along with the warmer weather and longer days comes a more relaxed and carefree approach to life. Everywhere you look, you see the sun reflected in the smiling and happy faces of friends, family, and colleagues. However, what if you are in the 1% of people who suffers from summer depression or SAD?
SAD or seasonal affective disorder affects around 1 in 15 people in the UK. The vast majority experience symptoms and mood changes during the winter months but did you know that around 1% are affected during the summer?
Summer depression is harder to understand and seems counterintuitive in a world where we have come to associate warm and bright days with feeling happy. However, for some people, the disruption that goes hand in hand with the summer months can be enough to trigger feelings of stress and anxiety. Financial and social factors such as organising summer childcare, paying for holiday camps or babysitters can take their toll and for those suffering from summer depression, the warmer weather can be the signal to withdraw from life.
For people suffering from summer depression the constant expectation to have fun at barbeques and summer garden parties can be exhausting. If you do not have the energy or the financial flexibility, the constant stream of party invites can be a major cause of anxiety.
Symptoms of summer depression typically occur between June & September and can include anxiety, insomnia, loss of appetite and weight loss, and if they are having a significant impact on your ability to function normally, it may be time for you to seek professional help.
Physical symptoms can be alleviated by limiting the time spent outside in the sun and by trying to keep as cool as possible. The psychological symptoms are often harder to manage and because of this, it is important to make sure the people closest to you are aware that you are struggling so that they can support you socially.
If you are prone to seasonal depression and anxiety, you can be proactive and take steps to prepare.
For example, if you are aware that the financial pressures of summer can lead to negative mood changes you can plan for it accordingly.
For some people, however, being prepared and implementing coping strategies just isn’t enough and for those people, it is advisable to get in touch with a mental health care professional.
Hypnotherapy and in particular BWRT can be an effective treatment for SAD. They work by helping the sufferer to re-address and re-train their brain to look at a particular time of the year in a different and more positive way. In any situation encountered, the brain will always look back at the previous behaviour patterns associated. So, if you have spent the last five summers struggling with anxiety, insomnia and a loss of appetite, the slightest hint of warmer weather and longer days can act as signals to trigger those negative emotions all over again.
A professional hypnotherapist can work with you to change these thought processes, allowing you to adopt a more positive approach and to take more control over how certain times of the year affect you.
If you think that you may be suffering from seasonal depression, please get in touch with me on 07870 893226 to find out how hypnotherapy, and in particular BWRT, could help you learn to love the feel of the sun on your face again.