The book which is entitled The Emotional Calender, explores three ‘realms’ which come into play during seasonal changes and how each of them effects us on a physical, psychological and socio-cultural level.
The first of the realms is physical and incorporates factors such as daylight hours, temperature changes and the amount of serotonin and dopamine in the body. The second realm is that of cultural events, meaning summer holidays or Christmas holidays which give people a positive outlook, and the third realm is event anniversaries, meaning anything from an achievement to a death which the time of year can trigger us to relive.
Though the first two realms trigger positivity in many during the spring, Dr Sharp believes that for those who suffer from depression it can have the opposite effect.
“At the same time as most of us are rolling up our sleeves and spending more time outdoors, others struggle with trying to get into that kind of mode, and counter-intuitively, they feel worse.” He said.
Suicide rates throughout the UK seem to correlate with Sharp’s theory that spring and summer are not always the happiest months for some, with rates being at their highest in the spring, usually peaking in April and May
Experts have said that those who do feel very low throughout spring and summer could be suffering from reverse Sad (seasonal affective disorder), which is a rare form of seasonal affective disorder which usually see’s sufferers experience adverse side effects caused by the winter months.
Emer O’Neill from the charity Depression Alliance has acknowledged the seriousness of the condition. “Reverse Sad is rare but this has a lot to do with the fact that so little is written about it. It is not talked about so there are potentially many people out there who have the condition and have not been diagnosed.” She said.
O’Neill hopes that books such as Sharp’s will help to make more people aware of reverse Sad so that sufferers are able to seek help.
“We all have to be careful that the people around us who seem unduly glum are getting support and talking to their doctor or their therapist and not feeling isolated and alone,” said Sharp.
For information about seasonal affective disorder please visit our fact-sheet for further details. If you would like to contact a counsellor in your local area who deals with this issue or any other, please use the search tool located on the homepage of this site.
View the original BBC News article.