It is nice to live in a place where the seasons change. The year starts off with a little snowfall only for the sun to come out, the rain pours, and the leaves change. While witnessing the seasons change can be a beautiful thing to some, it can be damaging to the mental health of others.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is when you experience low moods from a lack of sunlight. If it is gloomy outside, our mood matches. Even if you do not have SAD, you can still experience a change of mood during a change of weather. It could be the result of people’s expectations for the season. Summer fun and springtime are said to lead to birth and renewal. In the fall, some of us love the crisp air and the colorful foliage. As winter nears, we might find ourselves getting excited about the Holiday cheer and the idea of snow. But, if you are not feeling how others do, it can lead to depression and feelings of loneliness.
As each new season comes your way, take a look at the different moods that may come as a result.
When it is winter, there is no bright sun there to wake you up or on your face when you go outside. Instead, you can feel the snow fall on you with a foggy sky up above. People with Seasonal Affective Disorder have less serotonin in their systems which are feel-good chemicals. Because sunlight can help regulate serotonin and produce Vitamin D, a lack of sun from the winter weather can lead to a depressed mood.
Melatonin is a chemical that affects the way you sleep. A lack of sunlight can lead to an overproduction of melatonin, making you feel sluggish and tired during the winter months. The colder weather may also make you feel like you don’t want to leave the comforts of your warm cozy home to brave the frigid elements.. This, in turn, might prevent you from getting any outdoor exercise, thus lowering those feel-good endorphins.
Author T.S. Eliot once wrote “April is the cruelest month.” Spring season, in general, can be a difficult time for those battling depression. When the sun comes out and the flowers start to bloom, someone who already may not have been feeling great, may now experience the huge contrast between what they are feeling and the beautiful world outside that is going on around them. It can contribute to the feeling that everyone is else is happy but me.
Some research indicates that springtime tends to be the season with the most suicides. Because spring is often seen as a time of hope and renewal, the person who may already be feeling down can lose hope if their situation doesn’t improve while everything around them is blooming.
Seasonal allergies can be another factor towards depression in the spring. If you have an allergic reaction to pollen, chemicals in the airways can affect the way the brain works.
For many, summer can be a time of great fun enjoying the outdoors. The longer days of sunlight mean more time spent chilling at the beach soaking up the sun
However, some can still get depressed during the summertime. The intense light from the sun and the humidity can overexcite the brain, causing anxiety, agitation, and sleeplessness. If you live in a very warm climate and you are not near a pool or the ocean, walking around in the heat can make you feel irritable and drained.
Once summer ends, the sun gets dimmer there is less humidity and the leaves start to change. While the changing colors are beautiful to look at, some may see it as a reminder that the days are getting shorter and growing colder. There may be a subtle sense of sadness looming knowing that the summer is now officially over and you may not have gotten to do all the things you planned to do during the warmer months when you may have had some time off.
Going back to school in the fall can lead to the anxiety of starting off the school year well. For those of you who did have some time off during the summer, you may have to get up earlier now. Changing your sleep pattern or schedule can be particularly tough for some leading to a lack of good sleep until your body adjusts to the new schedule. This can certainly impact your mood.