Without the schedule and structure of daily school, many kids and teens might find summertime an emotionally challenging time. As a healthcare professional, you may be experiencing this as an increase in clients and/or an elevation in your young clients’ symptoms.
Usually associated with winter, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) also happens in summer and some of your young clients may be exhibiting signs of summertime depression, or summer seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
“Often times, children and adolescents experience an increase in depression and anxiety in the summer months. Increased freedom and lack of structure can lead to an increase in mental health symptoms. A lot of youth experience less social connection in summer leading to increased feelings of loneliness, isolation, and withdrawal which can thus lead to deeper depression and anxiety.” says Lauren Lawson, Psy.D., LMFT, Clinical Program Manager, START Program at Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families.
We’ve put together an excellent set of articles and publications to help you get current on seasonal affective disorder:
Scholarly Publications for Seasonal Affective Disorder
• Seasonal Affective Disorder - NCBI - NIH - Cited by 27
• Seasonal affective disorder: practice and research - Cited by 74
• … for the treatment of pediatric seasonal affective disorder - Cited by 105
Additional Professional Resources
• Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) - Diagnosis and treatment - Mayo Clinic
• Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) - American Psychiatric Association
• Seasonal Depression | Mental Health America
• NIMH » Seasonal Affective Disorder
• Why Teens with Depression Need Structure During Summer
• Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder: SAD in the Summer
• People Get Seasonal Depression in the Summer, Too
• 5 Signs and Symptoms of Summer Depression [Infographic]
If you feel that your young patients are in need of a more comprehensive approach, the START program at Casa Pacific is a great place to, well, start!
Casa Pacifica’s Short Term Adolescent Residential Treatment (START) program is designed for youth ages 9 through 17 years old and specifically addresses a wide range of mental health issues.
Contact us, or call now at (805) 366-4000.