While Smith said that she has never taken antidepressants or any other medication, relying instead on supplements and other non-medical remedies, she has also found other ways to deal with the condition. She said that she even makes it a point to leave town during the worst of the summer months to head for a cooler, less sunny locale for a couple of weeks. Smith also manages a community web site for others who experience summer depression.
Lewy said that as researchers and clinicians discover more about the disorder, new treatment options may become available. He said that he is currently working to establish whether levels of another brain chemical known as melatonin might have anything to do with the phenomenon -- and whether treatment with it could be the key to relieving the symptoms in some.
"Summer depression may eventually be treated with dark or orange goggles that block out blue light," he said. "Perhaps we will use a low dose of melatonin to adjust the 24-hour cycle, or some other intervention. But as to whether this would help, that research still needs to be done."