As Pride Month comes to a close, I've been thinking about this ...

·4 min read
A rave Pride gathering in June 2021 near Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's office in Kyiv.
A rave Pride gathering in June 2021 near Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's office in Kyiv.

It's already that last newsletter of June 2022, and I can't believe it! It feels like this month has gone by so fast.

And as I celebrate the last weekend of Pride Month with friends in New York, I'm reminded of how far the LGBTQ community has come – as well as how far there is to go, especially when it comes to discrimination. 

My colleague Edward Segarra wrote this week about GLAAD's Accelerating Acceptance study released Wednesday, which showed LGBTQ individuals are at an increased risk for discrimination despite more visibility and public understanding.

GLAAD found that 70% of LGBTQ Americans surveyed said discrimination toward the community has increased within the last two years — in the workplace, on social media, in public accommodations and even within families. The annual study measures “Americans’ attitudes and comfortability towards LGBTQ Americans.”

Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, says the uptick isn’t surprising, given the recent wave of legislation targeting LGBTQ people. This spans areas such as classroom censorship, book bans, healthcare restrictions and access to school sports. In 2022 alone, nearly 250 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced in state legislatures across the country.

To read Edward's full report and learn more, click here.

Seasonal depression isn't just for winter. Summer can trigger a mood disorder too.

Seasonal depression is a mood disorder with a pattern. People typically associate it with winter, when colder months and shorter days leave people feeling sluggish, agitated and even hopeless. But seasonal depression can also show up in summer when stifling heat, more sunlight and social stressors overwhelm.

"Seasonal affective disorder is experiencing symptoms of depression during a particular season," says Dr. Christine Crawford, associate medical director at The National Alliance on Mental Illness. "The symptoms are severe enough at times to meet criteria for major depressive disorder."

My colleague Alia E. Dastagir spoke with Crawford about factors that may drive summer seasonal depression, who is most at risk and how those suffering can cope.

Question: What causes summer seasonal depression?

Crawford: (In) the summer months, even though there's plenty of sunlight, there are a lot of other factors, especially environmental factors and social factors, that may make it such that people are more likely to experience symptoms of depression.

There is research that has looked at exposure to pollen levels and found that for some people in the summer months when they're exposed to more pollen, it makes them more agitated, more irritable, and that can have an impact on their mood and their day-to-day outlook on life.

Q: Are some people more vulnerable to summer seasonal depression?

Crawford: If you're someone who already has challenges around sleep, being able to fall asleep and stay asleep on a regular schedule, it's really important to talk to your primary care provider about what options are available to ensure that you get a good night's sleep. If you're not well-rested, that can increase your likelihood of developing symptoms of depression.

People who may have a family history of depression are also more at risk, and people who may be experiencing significant stressors in their lives that impact their ability to maintain structure, routine, good sleep, good exercise and social support. All of those things matter for an overall good mood.

To read Alia's full Q&A, click here.

More sunlight isn't always a good thing.
More sunlight isn't always a good thing.

Should you exercise first thing in the morning or at night?

In this week's medical column, board-certified emergency room doctor Michael Daignault discusses a new study about what time is best to exercise. Here's a bit of what he breaks down:

Whether you're considering starting a workout regimen or a more seasoned athlete, one of the biggest questions I hear is, “When is the best time to exercise?” Most people are fairly protective of when they exercise. Choosing to exercise in the morning or evening is often a product of a work schedule or childcare responsibilities. Or simply whether one is a “morning person” or a “night owl.”

But is there any science to support working out in the morning versus working out in the evening? A recent research study in Frontiers in Physiology shed some light. 

This was a relatively small study from Skidmore University that collected data from 27 women and 20 men who were already highly active with a regular exercise routine. Participants were followed over 12 weeks. They did one of four different exercise routines – stretching, resistance training, interval sprints or endurance training – four times a week for one hour. One group did the routine between 6:30 and 8:30 a.m. and the other group between 6 and 8 p.m. 

To read the results and learn about other factors to consider, click here for the full column.

Today's reads

"Divorcing a Narcissist: One Mom's Battle" by Tina Swithin
"Divorcing a Narcissist: One Mom's Battle" by Tina Swithin

Today's pets

Meet Bagle, Baguette and Brioche!

The 3 Musketeers!
The 3 Musketeers!

Here is a terrific trio known as @carbdogs on Instagram sent in by Erin Lewis of Rye, New York. "@carbdogs love their walks as much as we do! They love barking at the bunnies overtaking our neighborhood and meeting the other pups on the block. With one dog per kid, it’s a full, happy house!"

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Pride Month is almost over, and this has been on my mind