One of my Twitter mutuals blew my mind yesterday.
I’ve always been a dick to my SAD friends, but heatwave depression is right here, sitting on my lap.Brent Cox
I’ve got a few friends with SAD or seasonal affective disorder. I had always thought of SAD as a winter disease. Lack of sunlight messes with your circadian rhythm and it can lead to depression (among other other physical symptoms) during shorter colder months. I’ve never had it personally. I thrive in the winter. Maybe it’s generics as my ancestry is Scandinavian.
It never occurred to me that there could be an inversion variant of seasonal affect disorder for the summer. But apparently SSAD exists. People can get summer season affective disorder. It’s rarer but it exists.
“What causes summer SAD? We assume it’s heat and humidity.”New York Times
Which frankly makes total sense. It’s a fucking misery most of summer. Heat makes my pain worse. I’d assumed any dislike of summer was related to the increase in severity of my symptoms. But maybe it’s a more holistic issue.
Another seasonal challenge that could worsen with climate change — and play into mood — is pollen, said Teodor Postolache, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He said the immune response to allergens like pollen might create a cascade of changes in the body, including the release of biological compounds called cytokines that regulate inflammation and have been connected to depression.
I don’t think I am necessarily depressed in the summer but my mood is generally rotten. And if it’s from heat or pollen or humidity, the end result does seem to be I’ve got increased inflammation during the summer months and it’s uncomfortable as hell. I don’t know what I’ll do with this information (other than ask my doctor at my next visit) but it’s nice to know that I’m not crazy for feeling crazy in the summer.