PSA: Not All Depression Is Seasonal, Stop Expecting Me To Be Happy Just Because It's Summer

PSA: Not All Depression Is Seasonal, Stop Expecting Me To Be Happy Just Because It's Summer

Lana Del Rey was right, "summertime sadness" is 100% real.

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Now that it's summertime, there seems to be a huge misconception that because school is out and stress levels typically seem to be less, that depression just disappears. Unfortunately, this is not the case, rather just a misconception.

In case you are unfamiliar with seasonal affective disorder, also referred to as SAD, it is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons, beginning and ending at about the same time every year. If you're like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, leaving you feeling irritable and moody. However, although it is uncommon, what most people aren't aware of is that some people's seasonal affective disorder causes depression in the spring and summer months.

To be diagnosed with SAD, people must meet full criteria for major depression coinciding with specific seasons (appearing in the winter or summer months) for at least 2 years.

For the 1/10th that experience what some refer to as "reverse" seasonal affective disorder,, there are several daunting questions that critics seem to ask, such as: "Why are you so sad? Shouldn't you be happy because it's summertime?" The truth is, not nearly as many studies have been done to help psychologists understand reverse seasonal depression as much as the traditional seasonal depression that occurs during the year's colder months.

While winter SAD is often linked to a lack of sunlight, it is thought that summer SAD is due to the too much sunlight, leading to an increase of melatonin production. Others speculate that people stay up later in the summer, confusing their circadian rhythms. Surprisingly, summer SAD and winter SAD seem to be prevalent in areas that have hotter temperatures in the summertime. In summary, people in the southern region of the U.S. tend to experience summer SAD more so than those in the northern regions (and vice versa).

Another more modern link that researchers have tied summer depression to is a fear of missing out, or FOMO. When all your other friends are posting about how much fun they're having going to the beach and studying abroad, you can begin to feel like you're missing out on something, especially if you are already feeling down, to begin with.

That being said, if you notice one of your friends seems a little under the weather, do not assume that just because it's summertime that they're supposed to be happy. Depression can be seasonal, it can come in waves, or it can linger for months. Everyone's struggle with mental illness is different and should be treated as a deeply personal matter.

We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.
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Sorry I'm A Size 00

But I'm not really sorry.
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My whole life I’ve been thin—which is kind of an understatement. Every time I go to the doctor I get the same “you’re underweight” lecture that I’ve heard every year since I was able to form memories. I’ve never really felt insecure about my weight, I love being able to eat everything and not gain a single pound. Since my freshman year of high school I’ve probably only gained 8 pounds and I’m now a sophomore in college. Of course, in school, there were rumors that I was anorexic or bulimic, but everyone who knew me knew that was far from the truth. I’m now 19, 5’2, and I still have yet to break 100 pounds on the scale. It seems that there is a lot of skinny shaming going around and to me, one of the main contributors to that is the Dove Real Beauty campaign.

You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this because skinny girls get all the praise and other body types are neglected. That’s really not true, though. While loving other body types, you are tearing down skinny girls. Why is it okay to do that to skinny girls but not to other body types? Why is it okay to say “only dogs like bones” or say “every body type is beautiful” until you see a model's abs, or ribs, or thigh gap and then tear them down because they’re “unnaturally” skinny?



The point I’m trying to make is that, as a naturally skinny girl, I have never shamed anyone for their body type, yet I go every day and get at least two comments about my weight. I’m always the skinny girl, the toothpick, but I’m not Jessica. Yeah, I’m a size 00. Get over it. If you have an issue with my body and feel like my body is disgusting to you, don’t look at it. I know that I’m healthy and I don’t need your input when my body just naturally burns calories fast. I don’t have an eating disorder and never have. I am real beauty though, and I know that because I’m comfortable in my own skin. So maybe the real issue is that we as a society have been shoving certain body types down our daughters’ throats so they begin to romanticize models that have certain standards that they have to meet, who work hard for the bodies that they have, and are making a hell of a lot more money than most of the people discussing why they look emaciated while what they’re actually looking at is the photoshopped product.

I’m not going to apologize for being skinny when that is just how my body is, I can’t help it. So please, stop tearing my body down while trying to bring your body up. You can praise your body without shaming skinny girls. Shaming me for being thin does not make you better than the man that shamed your body, just as me shaming you for being curvy does not make me better than the man that shamed my body. As women, we need to love each other because we are the only ones who truly understand each other.


Cover Image Credit: Victoria's Secret Untouched

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5 Things To Look For Before Signing A Lease

"Does it have a hallway closet?"

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Spring is an exciting time of year. The trees are starting to get leaves again, flowers are blooming and the weather is starting to get nicer. Spring Break seems to be right around the corner. However, Spring also brings the dreaded apartment hunting season. Once your lease is up you can either renew it or find a new place. Finding a new apartment can be stressful but that shouldn't take the fun out of it. So, here is a list of things I wish I had known to look for before signing the lease.

Check for hallway closets

Once moving in you realize how much you miss that closet in the hallway and how much stuff you really put in there. That closet was the perfect place to stash those pesky cleaning supplies, the vacuum, and the broom. Those odds and ends like the extra paper towels and water bottles so nicely fit into that hallway closet you took for granted. Living without storage for these items has made our living area and kitchen look a mess and a nuisance when having to move it just to use the table.

Noise levels

Noise levels are something that is often forgotten about when walking through an apartment. You shouldn't be able to hear your roommates Netflix binge through the wall. What about the floors do the creak? Does the door make an annoying screech when opening it? What about the traffic outside does it bother you? Remember once you sign that lease you're stuck until it is up. Living with creaky doors and floors makes going to your 8 am class so much worse knowing you might wake your roommate by accident.

Damages

Damages are something most people notice before moving in but is there water damage? Water damage often means a leaking roof or dripping pipe that could become a worse issue later. Taking note of these damages before signing can prevent you from having to pay for them later.

Neighborhood

It's college everyone parties it seems, but living by the parties can be annoying especially if you're trying to study. Partying usually happens a couple nights of the week but those couple nights seem like every night when attempting to study for an exam on Thirsty Thursday. Studying feels nearly impossible when you hear a raging party going on next door.

Kitchen storage

Storage in general as mentioned in number one is important. A place for your food in the kitchen makes a difference in how much you actually cook. When having a place for cans or boxes of pasta you feel less overwhelmed when you do cook them. Cooking with stuff on the counters isn't only annoying but it makes a mess to clean up. Storage for all your kitchen gadgets and dishes makes for an easier life and not just piles laying around.

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