Feeling down during the holidays? It’s more common than you think.
“I’m seeing more of an up-rise of clients coming in who are dealing with holiday blues… everything from family members coming in who are depressed because um families are not getting along during this time of the year, financial issues are causing relationships to be on a downward spiral,” says Kay Ervin, a professional psychotherapist.
“When people start to engage and interact with their family, we’ll get a strong push right around Thanksgiving, shortly before” says Weatherly Camacho, a professional psychotherapist, “The last week before Christmas or two weeks before Christmas, we’ll get about a week lull and then immediately after Christmas into January we’ll get a push of new clients.”
It’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Symptoms include having less energy, fatigue, wanting to eat and sleep more, trouble concentrating, and wanting to be alone, according to WebMD.
“What happens is that as the days get shorter, which starts in the fall, you know we have a lot less exposure to sun, which is our bodies natural source of serotonin which is the happy chemical,” says Camacho.
And these professional therapists say it can be easily treated.
“Accept that you have feelings and be able and willing to communicate them. You feel the way you feel for a reason,” says Camacho
Ervin says it’s important to get on top it now so depression doesn’t follow you into the new year. Her advice, “Go into the new year with realistic expectations that are your own, not the expectations of others so that you’re a healthier you.”
And Camacho has specific recommendations for the this time of year.
“Create a budget, stick to that budget, when it comes to spending money on gifts, stick to your budget. Start planning if you know that seasonal affects stuff is stuff that your struggling with, start planning ahead of time. Say no, create boundaries,” she says, “And then of course reach out for help.”
You can find a therapist in your area at www.psychologytoday.com.
www.giveanhour.org provides free services for members of the military.
And Camacho says there are always 24 hour hotlines waiting for you to make the call.
Available hotlines via Depression.test.net :
- Suicide Hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE (2433) – Can use in US, U.K., Canada and Singapore
- Suicide Crisis Line: 1-800-999-9999
- National Suicide Prevention Helpline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- National Adolescent Suicide Helpline: 1-800-621-4000
- Postpartum Depression: 1-800-PPD-MOMS
- NDMDA Depression Hotline – Support Group: 1-800-826-3632
- Veterans: 1-877-VET2VET
- Crisis Help Line – For Any Kind of Crisis: 1-800-233-4357
- Suicide & Depression Crisis Line – Covenant House: 1-800-999-9999