Summer is rapidly approaching in the northeast, as our days are getting longer and warmer. We are spending more time outdoors doing what we love. Many people report feeling better during the summer months, with many seasonal symptoms lifting as the weather improves. This trend is encouraging for everyone. Sometimes we may think of ourselves as fully balanced emotionally and mentally. All the dysfunctional symptomology of our winter lives has disappeared in the summer sunlight. It is important to know that in many cases, this is usually a cycle that is highly dependent on the seasons of the year and the weather that coincides with it.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) has been extensively researched for years in the medical/mental health communities. It is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. Symptoms typically start in the fall and continue through the winter months.
We usually don't associate SAD with the beginning of summer, because the season of SAD doesn't start until the fall, but research shows that starting therapy in the summer can help build an arsenal of tools to combat depression in the fall. Early care can alleviate or minimize the symptoms of SAD that can creep up on people in September, when the sunlight starts to change and melancholy begins to sneak in. With an experienced therapist as your guide you can be prepared and ready to spot the first symptoms of depression/anxiety, and you will know how to reduce your anxiety levels and raise your overall mood going into the fall and the holiday season.
As an experienced psychotherapist with over 40 years of treating individuals with anxiety and depression, especially Seasonal Affective Disorder, I am willing to guarantee that this year, those who engage in therapy with me will have a much happier and healthier fall and winter than previously experienced.
May all of you have a most wonderful summer as well as a healthy and happy fall and winter.
All the best,
Dr. Al Levy