Summer depression(A guide)

In this article, we will discuss summer depression, its connection with SAD, its symptoms, causes, risk factors, diagnosis, as well as treatment.

You will also find some quotes about summer.

Summer Depression and SAD

SAD or seasonal affective disorder is a recurrent depressive disorder, which comes and goes in a seasonal pattern.

That pattern usually starts in autumn and continues during winter.

Sometimes SAD can affect people in spring and continue into summer months as well.

Summer depression is also called reverse SAD or major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern (MDD-SP).

Summer depression is a form of seasonal affective disorder, which starts in summer and typically returns every year almost at the same time. 

The Symptoms of Summer Depression

In contrast to fall and winter SAD, which is characterized by decreased activity, low energy, tiredness, and deep sadness, summer SAD assumes the opposite symptoms.

The summer depression symptoms usually start in late spring or early summer and end in fall. 

Below are some common symptoms of summer:

  • Anxiety,
  • Irritability or agitation,
  • Restlessness,
  • Insomnia,
  • Appetite decrease,
  • Weight loss.


The Causes of Summer Depression

There are not many studies about summer depression.

However, there are some theories about its causes, which are:

  • Higher temperature,
  • Longer days,
  • Negative body image,
  • Lack of a routine,
  • Pollen quality increase,
  • Not enough sleep,
  • Loneliness.

Risk factors 

SAD is Common for Certain Groups of People 

Anyone can get summer depression; nevertheless, for some groups of people, it is more common to get SAD:

  • It occurs in women more than in men,
  • The disease starts at an age between 18 and 30,
  • Family history with mood disorders.
  • People Who Get Summer Onset MDD with Seasonal Pattern

Some people are more likely to have MDD-SP:


Even though women get MDD-SP more often than men, the latter report more severe symptoms.

Having a bipolar disorder

People with bipolar disorder may be more sensitive to the symptoms of MDD-SP, as the seasons change.

Genetic factor

People who have relatives with MDD-SP, or other mood disorders, are more likely to get it.

Living closer to the equator

According to research, people living in warmer places have MDD-SP more than the ones who live in colder areas.

Diagnosis of Summer Depression

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, to be diagnosed with SAD or summer depression, people must meet the full criteria for major depression coinciding with summer.

As it is a repeating seasonal pattern, symptoms must be expressed for at least last the two years.

It is also mentioned that the symptoms experienced during summer must be more frequent than depression’s non-seasonal symptoms.

To determine if the patient with depression suffers from seasonal affective disorder, doctors must ask the right questions.

It can be done only through an evaluation of the relationship between depressive symptoms, seasons, and history.

The Treatment of Summer Depression

Like other mood disorders, summer depression also has its treatment.

Some tips can help to reduce summer depression symptoms:


According to the National Institute of Mental Health, cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT is beneficial in summer depression treatment.

It allows learning new ways of acting, thinking, and reacting to situations, which worsen summer depression symptoms.


Antidepressants, which are used to treat depression, increase levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which are also mood regulators.

FDA (Food and drug administration) approved antidepressants like SSRIs, SNRIs, MAOIs, TCAs, bupropion, and mirtazapine.

Lifestyle changes:

  • Doing regular physical exercises,
  • Getting enough sleep,
  • Eat healthy food avoiding overdoing dieting and fitness.

Planning vacation carefully

Before you booking plane tickets for your summer vacation, you should answer the questions if it is what you want if it will be fulfilling, or it will make you happy.

Maybe the trip will cause expenses and cause stress instead of fulfillment. You should consider alternatives.

Instead of taking a whole week off at once, or maybe staying at home will be much more relaxing than flying abroad. 

Find out the reason

If you struggle with summer depression every year, try to find out the reason.

Maybe you associate it with an adverse event that happened in the past, or maybe you have had depression during summer previously.

You may have started to associate summer with sadness without realizing that.

When you figure out the reason, it may help you to deal with summer depression.

“Psychotherapy or medication can blunt the effects of seasonal depression. Summers do not have to be that bad,” says Ian A. Cook, MD, the director of the Depression Research Program at UCLA. 

Summer Quotes

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

“Another secret of the universe: Sometimes, the pain was like a storm that came out of nowhere. The clearest summer could end in a downpour. Could end in lightning and thunder.” ― Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” ― John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me, those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” ― Henry James

“I fell for her in summer, my lovely summer girl,

From summer she is made, my lovely summer girl,

I would love to spend a winter with my lovely summer girl,

But I am never warm enough for my lovely summer girl,

It is summer when she smiles; I am laughing like a child,

It is the summer of our lives; we will contain it for a while

She holds the heat, the breeze of summer in the circle of her hand

I would be happy with this summer if it is all we ever had.” ― Maggie Stiefvater, Shiver

“I like summer. I like warmer weather and long days. I am one of those silly people who still enjoy lying in the sun—my children are horrified!” —Danielle Steel

“I was on the beach every summer. That was the fun part of my childhood because we were right by the sea. We would take a picnic, and I would spend hours in the water until I turned blue. You could not get me out of there.” —Olga Kurylenko

“Summer has always been my favorite season. I feel happy.” —Zooey Deschanel

“When I figured out how to work my grill, it was quite a moment. I discovered that summer is a completely different experience when you know how to grill.” —Taylor Swift

“I started working out with my father the summer I was 13, which was incredible for our relationship. Those were my summers: working out with my dad, hanging out with my brothers, riding my bike. Pretty simple.” —Michael Strahan

“A life without love is like a year without summer.” – Swedish Proverb

“Spring has many American Faces. There are cities where it will come and go in a day and counties where it hangs around and never quite gets there. Summer is drawn blinds in Louisiana, high winds in Wyoming, shade of elms, and maples in New England.”– Archibald Macleish

“Everything good, everything magical happens between June and August.” – Jenny Han

“In the summer, the days were long, stretching into each other. Out of school, everything was on pause and yet happening at the same time, this collection of weeks when anything was possible.” – Sarah Dessen

“I love how summer just wraps its arms around you like a warm blanket.” – Kelle Elmore

“It’s a smile; it is a kiss; it is a sip of wine. It is summertime.” – Kenny Chesney

“I love summertime more than anything else in the world. That is the only thing that gets me through the winter, knowing that summer is going to be there.” – Jack McBrayer

“If it could only be like this always — always summer, always alone, the fruit always ripe.” – Evelyn Waugh

“Summer means happy times and good sunshine. It means going to the beach, going to Disneyland, having fun.” – Brian Wilson

 “The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color.” ―Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting

“The castle grounds were gleaming in the sunlight as though freshly painted; the cloudless sky smiled at itself in the smoothly sparkling lake, the satin-green lawns occasionally rippled in a gentle breeze: June had arrived.” ―J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Recommended books and sources

  1. Girl in Red – Summer Depression (song)
  2. HFNE “Dating Someone with Depression”
  3. HFNE “Types of Depression”
  4. I Hate Summer: My tribulations with seasonal depression, anxiety, plumbers, spiders, neighbors, and the world
  5. Journey Out of SAD: Beat the Seasonal Blues Now, 2nd Edition Expanded
  6. Seasonal Affective Disorders and Phototherapy

FAQs about the topic “Summer depression.”

Can you have SAD in the summer?

You can have SAD in the summer.

Summer depression is also called reverse SAD or major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern or MDD-SP.

Summer depression is a form of seasonal affective disorder, which starts in summer and typically returns every year almost at the same time. 

What are summertime blues?

“Summertime Blues” assumes summer depression, which is characterized by loss of appetite, sleeping difficulties, and some agitation.

What is the opposite of seasonal affective disorder?

The opposite of seasonal affective disorder is summer depression (MDD-SP).

Summer depression is a form of seasonal affective disorder, which starts in summer and typically returns every year almost at the same time. 

What does blue stand for?

SAD is a type of depression, which is connected to seasons changes.

It starts and ends almost at the same time every year.

What is the saddest month of the year?

January is the saddest month of the year, as January 24 is on record as the most depressing day of the year.

Can SAD be prevented?

SAD can be prevented: if you get summer depression every year, it means you know when it will start next time, which lets you prepare yourself and do steps to reduce upcoming depression’s symptoms.


So, summer depression is a form of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which starts in summer and typically returns every year almost at the same time.

It can be treated and reduced in some ways like psychotherapy (CBT), medications (antidepressants that are approved by FDA), lifestyle changes, and find out the reason that causes summer depression.

Please feel free to comment on the content or ask any questions in the comments section below.


  1. An overview of summer depression

Enjoyed this article? Then Repin to your own inspiration board so others can too!