Summer Seasonal Affective Disorder (yes it’s a thing)

I have spent the last few summers miserable, irritable and tearful. Needless to say, it was difficult to distinguish whether I actually had an issue with summer, or was simply going through a rough patch with all the other disorders that decided to pop up now and then. Last Summer was quite definitely the least happy you’ve ever seen me. I was anxious, crying, panicking and locking away the sun behind blinds and trying to pretend it didn’t exist. Both me and mi family were confused by this. While everyone ran around getting tans, I rarely left the house, and felt physically unwell whenever I was in the sun for too long. I’d get burning skin, feel sick and dizzy. Now, the fact that I was starving, dehydrated and just altogether not that great probably had an impact, but when the temperature started creaping up again this year, I was fully aware that the identical symptoms had returned. By a week ago, I was back to where I’d been a year ago.

There were several hopes that this yerawould be different. Last year I hadn’t had any intensive therapy, or medicine, I was alone and at the severest point of both mi anorexia and anxiety. So, you can probably see why I wasn’t expecting the full blown symptoms to return.

I didn’t really talk to anyone about this, both me and close family and friends just assumed I wasn’t a Summer person. I sort of talked about it jokingly because I knew it was a foreign aspect to a lot of people. Needless to say, a lot of people didn’t understand why I was hiding away from the blazing sun, so I just kept quiet about it.

This year, I realised it was a lot more severe than I had initially thought. It wasn’t just that I disliked Summer, I honestly hated it. Everything about it, from the longer days and warmer sun, to the total lack of confidence that stops me from wearing shorts and summer clothing. There is not one single thing I am able to pinpoint to blame for the way Summer puts me in this horrible state of mind, so there is nothing left but Summer to blame as a whole.

I started researching into why I was feeling like this. I soon realised that it wasnt unheard of and lots of other people experienced identical things. I then found a link to the diagnosis of Summer Seasonal Affective Disorder. Last year I’d joked about having the stereotypical SAD, but in reverse. Seeing it actually existed and there were other people suffering with it sort of made me think that maybe, there’s more to this than I thought.

The stereotypical Seasonal Affective Disorder is a condition where people’s mental health suffer when the days get shorter and colder. For me, an avid fan of everything about Winter, from the cold mornings to the cosy fires, there is no question that I don’t suffer in this way. However 10% of SAD sufferes have it in reverse, struggling immensely in the hotter seasons. The thought that this could be an explanation both terrified and reassured me; another issue to add to the ever growing list, but also a reassurance that I wasn’t insane (well any insaner that I already was) and that other people experience and struggle with this.

So, there we go. You can expect me to be sitting be a fan, shut away from the world for the next 2-3 months.


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