1 in 4 Suffer Holiday Depression - Do You?

Erika Tallan

Mental health professionals say many people suffer from Holiday Depression each year.

Mental health experts have dubbed it the *holiday blues*.
It's when the joys of the holiday season get you down.

"There is a lot of demand this time of year with social activities, thinking of things you have to buy, places that you need to go," said Dr. Dave Miers, Behavioral Health Expert at Bryan LGH.

Stress is one of the biggest factors.

"People start thinking about past losses and past conflicts that you've had in previous years. Many different things. It's different for everybody," said Miers.

Adequate sleep, a healthy diet (limit your sugar and alcohol intake) and exercise can help.

"Exercise can produce some of the same effects as someone taking an antidepressant," Miers said.

Then there is Seasonal Affective Disorder. MIers says Seasonal Affective Disorder is different from the holiday blues. He says people experience symptoms of depression because the sun is out for fewer hours this time of year.

"If it goes on for days and weeks then you need to seek professional help," said Miers.

If you notice a friend, family member or co-worker withdrawing or not being themselves Miers says you should approach them.

"Let them know, I'm concerned about you, I've noticed you aren't doing some of the things you normally like to do," he said.

And help them connect.

"If you are feeling lonely this time of year, it's important to reach out to community groups to volunteer your time. It gets you out and help other people which makes you feel better about yourself."

He says depression is one of the most treatable conditions. There is help available

Dr. Meir says medication and therapy together show the quickest results.

Typical signs of depression

  • eeling sad most of the day everyday
  • Lack of appetite or overeating
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Irritability
  • Loss of concentration

Do you suffer from depression? Click here for a free online screening.

 



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