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Mind & Mood

Summertime blues?

July 1, 2022

Seasonal affective disorder doesn’t strike only in winter. Here’s how to fight back if lack of sunshine isn’t the culprit.

close-up photo of the face of a somber woman, light and shadow from a nearby window are shown across her face

 "Summertime, and the living is easy." These timeworn lyrics set a tone for us to savor the long-awaited slice of year when we can typically count on sunshine and warmth. But it’s not quite that simple for people coping with an often unrecognized version of seasonal affective disorder known as summertime SAD.

SAD is marked by depressive symptoms at a specific time of year. Classic SAD occurs in late fall or winter when sunlight levels plummet and gloomy days dominate. For a sliver of the 2% of people who develop SAD over their lifetime, however, these symptoms clash with the arrival of beautiful weather, fun outdoor activities, fragrant greenery, and vacation escapes.

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