Seasonal Depression: Why I Used to Hate the Summer

Technically the textbook description of seasonal depression (aka SAD) usually takes place in the fall or winter, when less sunlight is present. For me, as a kid growing up in Michigan, my seasonal depression kicked in every time the sun started to peek out starting in May. The end of the school year meant summer was right around the corner and for me that was depressing.

At that time I was 90% covered with psoriasis and I was ashamed. I stayed covered up even when it was 100 degrees outside, I was miserable physically and mentally. Prior to summer, wearing long sleeves and pants wasn't odd I didn't stand out from those around me. But wearing these items in the middle of summer with triple digit heat, always presented looks, stares, and questions as to why I had on so many clothes. I would make up some lie which usually stated my skin was sensitive and couldn't take much sun... My favorite line from people was, "Ohh I know you must be hot with all those clothes on..." where I would casually say, "no I'm fine. I'm not hot at all. I'm used to the heat..." Even though I really wasn't fine, I was hot (and not in a Halle Berry way), and I did not get used to the heat...

I remember one summer being invited to the water park, I was 14 around this time. I wanted to go so bad, but I didn't want to wear a swimsuit because it would expose my spots. After a few days of consideration, I went with my friends, but I wore a long maxi skirt that drug on the ground and a long sleeve super thin top with bell bottom sleeves. I was literally fully dressed at the water park. In hindsight, I realize I probably looked sillier and brought more attention to myself wearing all those clothes opposed to just wearing a swimsuit and showing my spots. At that time the choice I made was the best one and the most comfortable for me.

Now let's fast forward to college. I am now in Alabama, one of the hottest states in the south. Don't ask me why I decided to attend school there knowing I would never wear short sleeves or shorts as long as my skin had a flare. In the Summer, I would ask my friends to wear long sleeves with me so I wouldn't look so out of place. In my head, if 2 or 3 people had on long sleeves together at one time people wouldn't question my motives as much, and I wouldn't stand out. All silly concepts I guess, but at the time it's what made me feel good.

Having psoriasis in the winter had its own challenges, like excessive dry skin due to the cold. During the cold season, I was just happy to be able to cover up without much discussion. Anytime Summer would end and Fall would start to creep in, it literally felt like my body dropped a weight... I would now wear my long sleeves and shorts without question or discussion.

Which season is the most difficult for you?

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