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Whether the Weather

Why does cold weather make me happy? I love cold weather. I love rugging up to the eyeballs and splashing in puddles. The only time I go to the beach is in winter when I can watch the waves crash and pound on the beach and I am snugged up in the car with the heater on. This is a shame really because I live in Western Australia with arguably some of the prettiest beaches in the world.

I suffer from reverse SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), also known as summer SAD. I loathe summer. The waves of heat coming off the bitumen make me very cranky and I fiercely resent getting hot and sweaty before work and coming home on the train feeling like I’ve been dragged through a bed of hot coals. Summer Sadness generally affects people, mainly females, in hotter climates, and is probably caused by too much sunshine.

Rain makes me joyful and hail and sleet makes me positively ecstatic. It doesn’t snow in Western Australia. Sunshine on a winter’s day feels like God’s betraying me. Most of my depressive tendencies come out at the end of a long, hot season, because in Australia summer is a long, drawn out process, starting in November and ending in May.

Most people love the hot weather. I’m not sure if it’s my English background that’s inherent in me or whether I just hate the heat. On a trip to England in July once I had to buy thick shoes and a thicker coat, one that I was never able to wear back home in Australia – even in the grim depths of an oxymoronic “Australian winter”. The English summer is colder than our winter.

Only two other people I know love cold weather and one of them is my son who is very much like me, an indoor person, very booky and studious, who used to take a bandage to school on sports days so he could stay inside and read. The other is my child-hood best-friend who now lives in America and gets to experience snow at the same time we are frying eggs on the pavement (sidewalk).

So what can I do about this? I don’t take anti-depressants in summer, I tend to sit it out, not unlike a bear that hibernates for winter and comes out bellowing and roaring when summer arrives. Only I come alive round about June when temperatures drop considerably.

Acceptance helps. Philosophically allowing for the mood swings an increase in temperature generates for me; this liberates my mind into thinking that this too will pass. Making sure my air-conditioning works, eating light meals, cutting back on coffee and alcohol (yes all those things that make life worthwhile) cuts back on that infernal internal body heat.

Other than that I could move to Greenland where winter never ends.

Whether the Weather

Sonia Neale

Sonia Neale was recently awarded the Inaugural Barbara Hocking SANE Australia Fellowship to study and research Borderline Personality Disorder overseas in the USA, Canada, UK and Ireland. Her previous Psych Central blog was called Therapy Unplugged. She is the author of two books, The Bad Mother’s Revenge and Death by Teenager, both published by ABC Books/Harper Collins. She lives in Western Australia, is married with three adult children, has studied psychoanalytic psychotherapy, has a Certificate IV in Mental Health and is studying for a Psychology/Counselling degree. She currently works as a peer support worker in the mental health field.

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APA Reference
Neale, S. (2009). Whether the Weather. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 13, 2020, from


Last updated: 20 Jul 2009
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