Every year, as the weather gets warmer and the sun stays up longer, I can feel the excitement around me. In school, everyone was counting down the days until summer vacation and we were all in a better mood due to warmer weather. Summer was always a time of no cares, no responsibilities, and no worries... but not for everyone.
I have depression year round, but it almost always gets worse in the summer. I had no schedule and nothing to get me out of bed in the morning, so I ended up sleeping until the afternoon and not wanting to do anything with the rest of my day.
I would see my friends, but I'm not a super social person and I would commonly go days without doing much at all.
Lack of structure is my worse enemy and I know that, but it's still hard for me to give myself my own schedule/routine to follow when I have no one else keeping me accountable. I'm not letting anyone else down when I sleep until one in the afternoon, so what's the point? That was and still is my default mindset.
Throughout high school, I always felt like I was a weirdo for dreading summertime. It seemed like all my peers loved summer and would spend their days relaxing and having fun. I got mad at myself for getting depressed when I could be like them.
As I have gotten older, I have talked to people my age about what I call my "reverse seasonal depression" and these conversations have taught me that a lot of other young people experience the same thing. Being so busy during the school year or the semester only to suddenly have nothing planned can be a shock to people who thrive off of action.
If you're already prone to depression, like me, this shock turns into something worse.
I'm still battling this pattern in college, but I understand myself more and have begun to take some steps to alleviate and prevent my summer depression. I know I need something to do, so I got a job and am also going to babysit for a family member a couple of days a week. I also have given myself some goals to focus on, like building a consistent work out schedule and reading the Game of Thrones book series.
Just having a "purpose" during this empty time helps tremendously.
One thing I still struggle with is my sleep schedule. If I don't have a concrete reason to get up in the morning, I tend to oversleep. Just being aware of this has allowed me to catch when I am falling down that hole (like right now) and try to reverse it before it gets too bad.
If you get depressed in the summer, know you are not alone. Keeping track of your patterns and figuring out little things you can do to help yourself can help a lot. If it comes down to it, remind yourself that the summer always ends.