Kerri Simpson suffers from what is essentially the opposite of the usual symptoms of SAD – instead of becoming depressed by the shorter days and colder weather, she in fact craves these things, and prefers to be in a dark room on sunny days, feeling down during the summer months.
Experts say around 600,000 people suffer from Summer SAD, but aren’t sure what causes it. It may be that the warmer temperatures affects an area of the brain that deals with mental stress, and that symptoms of heat exposure are similar to those of depression.
Dr David Lewis, a chartered psychologist, said: “The number of people in the UK who suffer from a summer depression which is related to a change in brain chemistry is very small. I believe summer depression is more likely to be psychologically based.
“When the sun shines we are expected to feel happy, and if we don’t we feel we’re missing out on something that everyone else is enjoying.”