If you’re feeling incredibly depressed right now and the cause isn’t obvious or tangible like the news cycle, relationships, work stress, etc., this time of year can be mood-wrecking in general. Note that there is some people.
Although not as common as winter depression, spring depression is “absolutely real,” says Dr. Paul Desan, an associate professor of psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine.
According to Dr. John Sharp, winter blues, aka Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD, are not seasonal. calendar of emotions and Insight CureCold weather depression is closely related to the fading of light during the darkest months of the year, especially in areas far from the equator. Summertime depression, so-called “reverse SAD,” also differs from springtime depression, according to Sharpe.
The reasons for spring depression are less clear, but the symptoms are similar — poor concentration, low energy, crying, feelings of worthlessness, and loss of interest in things you used to enjoy.
Find out why April is just as cruel as March and May.
seasons of change
Spring-onset depression may be due in part to various transitions, such as the end of the school year, May and June graduations, or a seasonal move. “It destroys the routine,” says Naomi Torres Mackie, a clinical psychologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and director of research at the Mental Health Coalition. It can become a burden.”
And it can get even harder when spring doesn’t live up to your expectations while you’re hibernating and daydreaming. I was. “Feelings of disappointment can have a huge impact on your mood.”
Other stressors in the warm season may also contribute. This includes transportation costs and body image issues when people wear less clothes, said Samar McCutcheon, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral health at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. said.
lose an hour
The “Spring Forward” time change that occurs in March may or may not be associated with Spring Depression.
On the other hand, the surge in symptoms at this time of year has been noted long ago. daylight saving time According to Desan, it has also been reported in countries that do not observe DST.
On the one hand, it represents another confusion. “An hour difference is actually making people stay longer than a day,” says Sharpe, who is also on the faculty at Harvard Medical School and his UCLA David his Geffen School of Medicine. .
Time changes are related to other medical problems, especially in the following weeks. This includes heart attacks and strokes, car accidents, and digestive problems.
social media effect
Social media platforms like Instagram are full of images of people interacting and having fun. If you are one of these people, great. But Torres-McKee said, “If you don’t have enough social support and you see a lot of other people coming together, but you haven’t experienced it yourself, emotions can be amplified. If you’re feeling down or watching other people socialize, you’re likely to feel twice as much pain.”
Depression can also occur when you blame yourself for being non-standard. “When people start wondering, What am I doing wrong? And it tends to internalize, which is when we actually see depressive symptoms.
Symptoms can be particularly severe in the summer. “One of the hardest parts of summer depression he says is that people are expected to be happiest in the summer,” McCutcheon said. “This can make people who have experienced summer depression feel especially bad about their symptoms of depression.
Research Links Seasonal allergies with spring-summer depressionincluded one paper that reported worsening mood in a group of about 1,300 people in Pennsylvania on days with high pollen counts in spring and summer, but not in winter.
“The connection between the body and the mood is strong,” said Torres Mackie. “Pollen causes inflammation in the body, and that inflammation can negatively affect mood.”
The authors of that study noted that not only do allergens boost an immune response that causes skin and nose irritation, but they also stimulate the central nervous system. They say it can affect your emotions.
If you are prone to allergies, Torres-Mackie suggested managing your exposure to various allergens.
Although seemingly contradictory, the surge of energy many people experience as the days get longer may be related to the higher risk of suicide in the spring. The experts we spoke to and some sources said Suicide rate is high in spring,Recent CDC report That didn’t seem to be the case in 2021.)
“In the spring, many people become more active and more energized. If there is a long-standing depression or underlying suicidal ideation or ideation, suicide requires action. , increases the risk of suicide,” said Torres-McKee. “When you’re very depressed and depressed, it becomes difficult to complete. [suicide]”
Even without suicidal thoughts, “many people feel the urge to make changes they don’t need, like ending a job or relationship or moving house,” Sharp said.
Don’t ignore depression just because it’s happening in the bright months of spring rather than winter.
“Many people blame themselves for mood swings and don’t always seek treatment,” added Desan.
Whenever depressive symptoms interfere with daily life, it’s time to get professional help, said Torres-Mackie.of light therapy What helps with SAD in the winter won’t help you much in the spring, but mental health professionals, especially those who offer cognitive-behavioral therapy, often combined with medication, may help you throughout the season. .
Maintaining a balanced routine, eating and sleeping well, and finding people to talk to can also help you stay balanced, Sharp added.
Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 in the United States. The Trevor Project, which provides support and suicide prevention resources for LGBTQ youth, is 1-866-488-7386. Find other international suicide helplines at Befrienders Worldwide (befrienders.org).