If you or someone you know is struggling with Depression, you might assume that the first day of spring would bring a sense of relief. Yes, the days are lighter, and in certain parts of the country, warmer; however, this may not positively impact people with Depression.
Here are three ways that spring might worsen symptoms of Depression:
- Spring can bring about seasonal allergies. Feeling stuffy, sneezy and congested doesn’t feel good to anyone. However, allergies can make already difficult moments and days feel worse for people with depression. If someone suffers from seasonal allergies, they may choose to stay indoors to avoid common allergens like pollen. Unfortunately, this also limits the person’s exposure to sunlight and necessary vitamin D.
- “Reverse SAD” – bright days and dark mood. While many people look forward to the longer days and extra light during spring months, others experience symptoms of “Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder.” For these people, continuing to feel down, sad, irritable and/or hopeless when the weather is warmer and the sky brighter might make them feel more upset.
- Increase in other symptoms. While there are particular symptoms associated with winter depression, there are others associated with spring and summer. These symptoms can include anxiety, insomnia, irritability, poor appetite and increased sex drive. People who have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder might experience mood changes, such as hypomania, increased irritability and/or trouble self-regulating. The change in weather, light and atmosphere can have a profound effect on mood.
As depression can be exacerbated and also helped by the environment, it makes sense that it can worsen during certain seasons. Take care to notice how springtime affects your mood and learn to find alternative remedies that might not be necessary for others, but important for you.