Reverse Seasonal Depression

Everyone has heard of seasonal depression. Generically speaking, this refers to people who see a cloudy, rainy day and get a feeling of malaise and depression. (Yes, that’s a gross oversimplification) This is pretty common, apparently. It’s called seasonal affective disorder (appropriately abbreviated as SAD) and affects about 4% to 6% of the U.S. population.

It sounds totally absurd to most, but some people, about 10% of those with SAD (so, 10% of 4%-5%), get the reverse. The onset of summer triggers the depression symptoms that most experience during the darker, rainier months. I’m unlucky enough to be one of those people.

With the summer solstice happening this weekend, the longest day of the year, I’m filled with anxiety. Part of me is saying that after that day, the darkness gets stronger and we have longer and longer nights. However, the other part of me chirps up and says, “Sure, assbutt! But the days will be long, excruciatingly hot ones. And your room is like a tiny microwave on the second floor. Bwahahaha!”

Some of the environmental reasons people have SAD are financial worries and disrupted schedules (for those with kids, I suppose), as well as body image issues and just the goddamned heat. The former two don’t apply to me at all, but the latter ones definitely do. I won’t go too much into gay men and body image issues. A friend of mine wrote her thesis on it and found that the body image issues of gay men were equal to those of women (probably teenage girls, honestly). I believe part of it is that gay people are in the unique position of often having jealousy and lust coincide within the same person. For instance, I recently watched Guardians of the Galaxy again. I adore Chris Pratt in that role — he’s funny, charismatic, daring, and sexy as hell. I was just lusting after his cute face when it got to the shirtless scene. Part of me was thrown back by how much I wanted to lick him, but at the same moment I was hit with a nearly palpable, dark wave of jealousy. It’s a strange place to be, and for gay men it adds to the body image issues of the have nots and the inconceivable, sweltering, consuming egos of the haves.

I was in a desert resort town last September for a friend’s big birthday. It was too hot to care, so I stripped down and got in the pool. (Seeing pictures of this event will still send me into a shame spiral, but it was over 100 degrees and I didn’t care). Our other friend would NOT get into the pool. I swear he must have showered with his shirt on. To quote one of my less kind friends, he had sweat under his tits and still refused to get in the pool. And I thought my issues were bad.

Enough of that crap.

Then there’s just the heat. It’s oppressive. It’s everywhere. You can’t get away from it. Even in the privacy of your own room, you can only strip down to nothing. If that doesn’t cool you off, you’re not getting any colder without fans, air conditioning, water, spit, or less sanitary methods. If the house cooks all day and the heat rises to your room like it does with mine, the nights are little better. The sun and the light are blinding. It’s like an overexposed picture of raw flesh. It’s too hot to cook, so I eat out a lot and gain a lot of weight, or I’m just too hot to eat.

So, Game of Thrones fans say that winter is coming with the appropriate amount of dread and drama in their voices. I welcome the winter. Rainy days and long nights are my happy times. It’s summer that scares me. And in California, we have about 4-5 months (or more) of summer-like weather. Why do I live here again?

For more info, see: http://www.webmd.com/depression/summer-depression

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~ by Darren Endymion on June 18, 2015.

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