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Summer depression rates surge sparks mental health concerns

Reporter Huang-Chi Ho
Release time:2023/10/02 09:40
Last update time:2023/10/02 09:40
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TAIPEI (TVBS News) — Cases of summer depression are on the rise, according to physicians worldwide. Seasonal transitions can significantly impact our mental well-being. While many are familiar with the 'winter blues,' the effects of 'summer depression' have garnered less attention.

With the increasing prevalence of extreme weather conditions, the heat poses a formidable challenge. Recognizing the mental health issues that can arise during these seasonal shifts is crucial.

 

Chen Chung-yen, an occupational physician at National Taiwan Hospital, noted that unlike the primary symptoms of winter depression, such as feeling down and lethargic, patients with summer depression often experience agitation, insomnia, irritation, or even exhibit violent behaviors.

Clinically, most cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) manifest during the winter months. However, physicians worldwide are observing a surge in summer depression cases. Preliminary statistics currently suggest that summer depression comprises approximately 10% to 30% of all SAD cases.

Summer depression can be attributed to heat and increased humidity. Daylight also influences critical chemicals in our bodies, such as serotonin and melatonin, affecting our emotions and functionality.
 

Engaging in yoga and meditation practices or receiving laser treatment can assist in managing summer depression. It is also advisable to undergo an autonomic nervous system checkup.

Peng Chi-lun, a physician in the Department of Psychiatry at National Taiwan University Hospital, emphasizes that medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy are commonly employed treatments for summer depression. 

Stressing the importance of prevention, Peng reminds the public to be mindful of environmental factors like stifling temperatures and advises against prolonged exposure to the heat.

Doctors urge vigilance regarding increased restlessness during the summer months. As temperatures soar, self-care assumes greater significance.

The Taiwan Briefing

#summer depression#mental health#extreme heat#seasonal affective disorder#prevention#self-care#global rise#physicians#awareness#treatment

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