Living Well

Battling Holiday Depression

Increased rates of depression are extremely common around the holidays and if you’re experiencing them, you’re not alone!

*Feeling suicidal? Please call 1-800-273-8255 immediately and talk to someone right now. *

What is Depression?

Depression is a very real, medically documented illness that is to be taken as seriously as any other illness. It is not a choice and it is not simply feeling bummed out or having a negative attitude. Despite outdated misconceptions, please know that you are not a bad Christian if you are feeling depressed any more than you are if you catch the common cold. Do not be afraid to seek help!

If you’re experiencing depression, you may have some of the following symptoms:

  • Prolonged sadness or unexplained crying spells
  • Significant changes in appetite and sleep patterns
  • Irritability, anger, worry, agitation, anxiety
  • Pessimism, indifference
  • Loss of energy, persistent lethargy
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness
  • Inability to concentrate, indecisiveness
  • Inability to take pleasure in former interests, social withdrawal
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide

For more about the symptoms of depression, click here.

Why Do Rates of Depression Increase During the Holidays?

Reasons for increase rates of depression around the holidays are too numerous to count. Some believe that lower levels of sunlight creates a hormone imbalance in the brain. Others suggest that stress and expectation may cause depression to flare up. Sometimes somber feelings of longing or missing loved ones can also trigger depressive episodes.

What Can I Do About Holiday Depression?

Today and any day that you experience depression, these are commonly recommended ways to get help:

  • Talk to a medical professional about treatment
  • Find a therapist who you feel comfortable telling everything to and go to appointments regularly
  • Get exercise: It releases hormones in your brain that can help fight depression
  • Try to expose yourself to as much sunlight as possible
  • Eat nutritious food: Eating too much garbage won’t cause or worsen depression necessarily, but eating a well balanced diet can help aid your body to function properly
  • Reach out to a friend: When you’re depressed, you probably don’t want to be around anyone else, but even sitting quietly and watching a movie with another person, or even a pet, might help you feel better.
  • Learn more here