Thursday, June 11, 2015

June Gloom- How Weather Affects Your Health

           Southern California is known for sunshine and impeccable weather nearly every day of the year. Those who live in this area of the country flock by the thousands from the East Coast and Midwest to get a taste of outdoors freedom. Thus, they don't have to experience the dreary days of fall, winter, and spring months unlike most of the United States. 
           However, we are 1/3 of the way into June, and have been struck with June Gloom. The days are overcast, the sun is no where in sight, and rain (what is rain again?) sometimes falls from the sky when we're sleeping. These days can help you fixate on the not so nice things in life, as you may find yourself waking up tired, your body may feel more lethargic, and your mood might be less than optimal. But have no fear, insight is here.
           Although the old terminology of Seasonal Affective Disorder is obsolete, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders- Fifth Edition (DSM-5) includes a new diagnosis of Depressive Disorder with Seasonal Pattern. The symptoms of this diagnosis are as follows: depressed mood most of the day, diminish interest or pleasure in activities, weight loss or gain, insomnia or hypersomnia (inability to sleep or sleeping more than usual), fatigue and loss of energy, feelings of worthlessness, concentration and attention difficulty (American Psychiatric Association, 20130). Now, I am not at all suggesting that June Gloom is providing you with a clear diagnosis, as there must be a seasonal pattern for at least 2 years that goes along with this diagnosis.
           But here is the point of this post: Environmental changes, lack of sunshine on a cloudy day, and this 'June Gloom' that sunny, Southern California friends are experiencing currently, can give you the blues. 
           If you are feeling slower than usual, if it's hard to wake up, if you are tired or having a hard time concentrating, don't be so hard on yourself. Sometimes our bodies need the time to "reboot". So take this time, sink into bed with a book or netflix, or go on your usual run on the beach. Enjoy the change in weather, rather than look to it as a negative force in your life. 
           You can also combat your negative mood by increasing behavioral change- force yourself out the door to yoga, go sit at the coffee shop even though it's easier to relax in your kitchen. If you initiate activities that keep you moving, you are better equipped at continuing your regular pattern of life, and you will be able to get through to the other side. And by the way my friends, the other side is July, a month full of sunshine. 

Shine on,

Dr. Kate

If you are interested in connecting with Dr. Kate to learn more about being a patient in my private practice, please contact me,
Information from this post was directly reported from the following source, and this blog post is meant to improve your education and understanding, this is not treatment or clinical work.

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and 
     statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: 

No comments:

Post a Comment