Got the Summer Bummer Blues?

If you're feeling bummed over the lack of sunshine there's a medical explanation

It's summer time in San Diego only there's something missing -- the Southern California sunshine. Some doctors say for many people, the looming gloom is taking a toll on mental health.

"Well I'm just visiting but it's pretty terrible.  I heard it's supposed to be really good but I guess not," said Florida resident Sura Lutvak.

Another summer day along San Diego's coast -- but the weather just doesn't feel like summer.

"You know it's usually gray May and June gloom but July is supposed to be beautiful and it's been horrible," said Carlsbad resident Kevin Schneider.

And it's almost August. If you've caught the blues you're not alone.

"It has affected our mood, for sure.  It just hasn't been the nice San Diego feel that people have been accustomed too. We've kind of been spoiled out here," said Schneider.

"It's harder to get up in the morning for sure and it's harder to get going and just really wish there would be sun," Lutvak said.

Psychiatrist, Dr. Heywood Zeidman, says if you're feeling bummed over the lack of sunshine there's a medical explanation -- a condition called "seasonal affective disorder."

"People get depressed, they tend sleep more, they tend to eat more, they gain weight, they're less social," said Zeidman.

The condition is more common in fall and winter and in places that have consistently gloomy weather.

"We think it may be related to melatonin. Melatonin is a substance in our brain that the sun diminishes," said Zeidman.

Dr. Zeidman says high levels of melatonin could trigger the blues. So, here's what to do.

"It's been shown that bright light early morning for about half an hour can help and there are actually lamps that shine on your head," said Zeidman.

Getting outside in the morning, even on an overcast day may also help.

Doctor Zeidman says even the ancient Greeks recognized the relationship between weather and mood. He says there are second century reports that said if a person is lethargic -- lay them out in the sun.

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