I’m a Skier So I Hate Warm Weather. Can You Suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder in the Summer?

Brent Thomas | | BrainsBrains
covered ski lift
No skiing here for a while. Credit: mountsnow.com

We are well into June, and the summer solstice is right around the corner, signaling the start of the warm season. It is usually around this time of year that I feel the doldrums of summer set in — and summer has only just begun. I likely feel this way because ski season has long ended, there are no good sports to watch (sorry, baseball fans), and I get uncomfortable in hot weather.

This got me thinking: is it possible to get Seasonal Affective Disorder (‘SAD’) in the summer?

What is SAD?

SAD is a type of depression that is related to changes in the seasons. Most people who suffer from SAD have depression that onsets in the fall and continues through the winter. It is more common for those living in more northern latitudes. As spring and summer come around, the symptoms tend to get resolved. About 5% of the US population suffers from SAD annually.

seasonal affective disorder
SAD is more than just the “winter blues.” Credit: ADAA

It is unclear what exactly causes SAD, but there are several theories. The reduced sunlight during fall and winter can cause changes to your biological clock, serotonin levels, and melatonin balance. All of these can disrupt the balance of sleep patterns and mood.

Living in the stormy Pacific Northwest, I was well aware of this condition. Thankfully I never suffered from it. How can you when you have the stoke of ski season on your mind 24/7? For this reason, winter has long been my favorite season and summer my least.


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Can you get SAD in the summer?

My dislike for summer, when everyone else seems to love it, made me curious, so I did some research. To my surprise, you can indeed get summertime SAD, although it is much rarer. Out of the 5% that suffer from it, about 10% get it in the summer (or 0.5% of the overall population).

I couldn’t find any source that said lack of shredding powder could be a cause, but I’m convinced there isn’t enough research yet. Going months without skiing just isn’t healthy. An obvious treatment would be a trip to South America or a summer ski resort.

My wife thinks I’m crazy; although she enjoys skiing, she is often cold and loves the sun’s warmth. Whenever the forecast is going to be hot, she gets excited, while I have to just bear it. Frankly, I think she’s the one who’s crazy.

This is usually what I’m thinking about. Credit: Snowbasin FB

In all seriousness, I don’t believe for a second that I truly suffer from genuine depression, but it can be serious for those that do. If you struggle with seasonal depression, you should consult your healthcare provider. Treatment, counseling, and lifestyle changes can make living with SAD easier.

For now, I will try to make the most of summer. There is plenty to be excited about—mainly mountain biking, pool time, and other outdoor activities. Maybe I should try an indoor ski center or an indoor skiing simulator? However, I will always be thinking about when the days will be shorter and colder, and I’ll be standing at the top of a mountain with fresh snow on the ground.

rock skis
I could try this. Credit: MPORA

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