As the weather warms up, thoughts turn to summer and vacations. Whether you are in school, or have family members who are, summer time is often seen as a break from the work schedule, and a chance for some more relaxation, time off and maybe a vacation or two. But for people who suffer from pain, depression, anxiety disorders or a host of chronic difficulties, summer may not provide any break.
In fact, some people experience an increase in depression and anxiety during summer months. This reverse SAD (seasonal affective disorder) may occur because people tend to isolate more during hot summer months. If they are working less or attending classes less they even have less opportunity to socialize. Increasing isolation can lead to a greater sense of loneliness and worsening depression.
With reverse SAD, people may often feel anxious, irritable, uninterested in eating and may experience weight loss and insomnia. Heat and humidity make these specific areas worse. For people struggling with bipolar disorder, their experience might be increased mania.
One important contributor to these difficulties is the lack of structure or routine in summer months. While you may not bounce out of bed every morning, having some place to go (work, school) or reason to get up helps support us and leads to better functioning. During the summer, there is often less of a schedule, and that can lead to increases in anxiety (especially about going out) and substance abuse as well. It is important to have something to do and distraction to get your mind off your worries and concerns throughout the year.
You also want to be able to take the opportunity to enjoy some vacation time, and even good weather that the Spring and Summer offer. So finding some balance between days of “purpose” or structured activities, with opportunities for days off and the ability to enjoy outdoors and get some exercise is important for everyone’s mental and physical health and wellbeing.
If you are struggling with finding a balance that works for you, call the professionals at Ketamine Wellness Centers. We offer group and individual counseling as well as Ketamine therapy to help you better manage, if not eliminate, your ongoing struggles with depression and anxiety. Call us today and we can create a specific plan for your needs to achieve year round happiness.
Dr. Ellen Diamond is the Clinical Psychologist for Ketamine Wellness Centers.