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7 Common Reasons Why You Might Be Suffering From Summer Depression

TMS Columbia experts review causes, signs, and treatment options for people struggling with summer depression

When people think of depression, images of cold winter days or rainy evenings often come to mind. But for some people, depression can hit them hard during the summer. Sometimes, there is a biological cause behind this summer depression. Other times, people struggle with summer depression when dealing with piles of work and projects. 

Whatever the reason behind your depression is, you have plenty of treatment options to choose from to address and work through your struggles. TMS Columbia experts — the Psych Associates of Maryland — review the top causes, signs, and treatments for summer depression. 

What Causes Summer Depression?

TMS Columbia experts explore the 7 most common causes of summer depression

group of people jumping into water

1. Seasonal Affective Disorder

For many people who struggle with this condition, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) typically sets in as the days become shorter and the temperature falls. However, a small percentage of people with SAD experience depression during the onset of summer. Experts aren’t sure why seasonal changes cause depression. For summer depression, adjusting to the longer days and the humidity might be behind this change. 

Summer depression often manifests itself in a different manner than winter depression. For instance, people with winter depression often deal with lethargy or excessive sleeping. Summer SAD typically shows up as agitation and jitteriness. 

2. Body Image Insecurities

As temperatures reach close to the triple digits, people tend to ditch their sweaters and long pants and go for t-shirts and shorts. But a number of people feel uncomfortable wearing these items due to their insecurity over their bodies. It doesn’t help that the media sometimes sets unrealistic body standards for men and women. As a result, they may shy away from social events out of embarrassment. 

3. Financial Stress

Summers tend to be expensive. Whether you are planning an upcoming vacation or you need to fork over some money for a kid’s summer camp, the summer can put a heavy strain on your wallet. Even small road trips and weekend getaways can add up. Dealing with all of these expenses can cause anxiety and depression in people. 

To alleviate this stress, try cost-cutting measures like staycations in your hometown or nearby cities. In order to stay financially healthy, you might have to pick and choose which vacations you want to embark on this summer. However, this decision will ultimately be a lot friendlier on your wallet and your mental health. 

4. The Summer Heat

businessman cooling off from the summer heat

Some people love the sweltering summer heat and don’t mind lying out in the sun. But for others, the stuffy heat can quickly become unbearable. 

Rather than spending their summer days outside, they may elect to hide in their air-conditioned bedroom instead. Because of the heat, some people may even start going for unhealthy take-out meals instead of cooking inside their humid kitchen. Don’t forget to refresh yourself with some hydrating water and fruits and vegetables every once in a while. 

5. Messed-up Sleep Schedule

If you are a student who is home for summer break or you are dealing with summer work hours, you often have much more time on your hands to sleep in. As a result, you might find yourself staying up and waking up later. Unfortunately, this can negatively affect your mood and stress levels. When the body is deprived of sleep, it releases a stress hormone called cortisol. High levels of cortisol can contribute to depression and emotional sensitivity.

To help fix your circadian clock, try to follow your regular sleeping schedule in the summer. Enjoying a meal outside or taking a short morning stroll can also give you a much-needed mood booster. 

6. Disrupted Summer Schedule

kids jumping into pool

If you have children, dealing with the sudden disruption in schedule can be stressful. High school and college students can also struggle with adjusting to spending prolonged periods of time with their parents. Family vacations can also disrupt the regular schedule that you have already grown accustomed to, thus contributing to your summer depression. 

7. Expectation Gap

Many people look forward to summer with the expectation that they will experience the vacation or holiday of their lives. They may look at their friend’s Facebook and Instagram posts with the hopes that they will do something just as exciting. But when these expectations aren’t met, people can easily become disappointed and even depressed. 

Treatment Options by TMS Columbia Experts

Explore what treatment options you have when it comes to managing your summer depression

family counseling session

TMS Columbia experts know how difficult it can be to manage your depression. Luckily, you have numerous options when it comes to treating your summer depression. Sometimes, adjusting your sleep schedule or exercising more can help boost your mood. For many people, psychological counseling and medication are extremely effective in helping them manage their depression. Taking care of your mental health is critical for helping you successfully overcome your struggles with depression. 


Depression can make you feel isolated and lonely. But despite these beliefs, you are not alone. TMS Columbia experts Psych Associates of Maryland are here to help you. Get started with your depression treatment today by contacting one of our team members for a consultation.

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