Depression on Rise During Holidays
More people suffer from depression during the holidays, say experts. And if you have a pre-existing condition, your risk is even higher.
“Most of these folks have an existing history of depression that’s exacerbated by the holidays. It’s like this vicious cycle or perfect storm of a lot of circumstances that increase,” David Berman, of Mental Health America, told Fox59.com.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), approximately 24 percent of people with a diagnosed mental illness find that the holidays make their condition “a lot” worse and 40 percent “somewhat” worse.
Seasonal depression or holiday depression can strike anyone, say experts, and the cause of such mental health issues this time of year can include:
- Lack of sleep
- Unrealistic expectations
- Increased stress
- Family overload
- Financial pressures
- Over-scheduling or lack of planning
Help for the Holiday Blues
For those with a pre-existing condition, it’s essential to perform “mental health check-ins” and to have a solid support system in place, Berman adds. He also urges folks to get to know the difference between holiday blues and depression. Left unchecked, the holiday blues can trigger clinical depression and put your hard-won sobriety at risk.
A good rule of thumb: If feelings of depression or negative feelings last longer than two weeks, it’s smart to seek help from a mental heath professional. Some other persistent symptoms to watch for include:
- Feeling depressed, sad and discouraged
- Loss of interest in once enjoyable activities
- Change in eating habits
- Gaining or losing weight
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping more than usual
- Lack of energy
- Feeling hopeless, helpless or inadequate
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Persistent thoughts of death or suicide (It is a myth, however, that suicide rates increase in December.)
- Withdrawal from others
- Lack of interest in sex
- Physical symptoms
Minding Your Mental Health at Seabrook
We offer our clients a variety of wellness programs, including sleep hygiene and stress management, along with our traditional addiction treatment. To learn more, call today: 800-761-7575.