SAD in the summertime? It's possible

While waiting for my turn to see my doctor recently, I sat across from two women engrossed in conversation.

"You get this way during the winter," one of the women told the other. "You\'re down for awhile, right? You don\'t get out of bed fast, you stay in your room. I\'m pretty sure he\'s going to tell you it\'s the \'June Gloom.\'"

When they went back (they\'d been ahead of me), I checked into that term on my phone. What is "June Gloom", anyway?

Turns out it\'s the summer version of Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. We hear a lot about that during winter months. The sun\'s not out as long during the day, and people feel like they don\'t have energy, or want to get out of bed. Sometimes their appetite changes, too. When these things get intense, that\'s when it becomes SAD. And, when I read more, I discovered it\'s possible to happen in the summer just as much as in the winter.

How come? It usually happens when spring is unusually cloudy and rainy. But some health professionals say it could also be biological, or even the result of stresses that build up. It just makes people who feel down and depressed just miserable. It\'s said that about 6 percent of people in the United States are affected, about ten percent feel it more in the summer.

What to do? When you\'re feeling down in the summertime, it can feel hard to make things better.  Here are a few things to consider:

Get help. Depression can get very serious, so if you think you need to talk to someone, do it. Call your family doctor or find a therapist who can listen and perhaps give you some good coping skills.

Sleep. It can be harder for some to get a good night\'s sleep in the summer. It\'s a trigger for depression, say experts. Set a schedule for going to bed and stick to it, even on vacation.

Exercise. If you\'re in a routine already, stick with it. If not, start small and build. Studies on the subject indicate that regular physical activity may help you keep depression from starting or building. Starting earlier in the morning before it gets too hot, or doing your exercises in a cool basement can help, too.

There are more thoughts and tips online. It\'s important, though, that you be kind to yourself. Don\'t beat yourself up over feeling down. It\'s OK to feel that way - we all do from time to time. But know that if it lasts, help is available. Treatment works.

Have the best summer ever!