Holiday depression facts and how to cope

Holiday depression is very common among Americans, but there are coping mechanisms to enjoy the holiday season. (Courtesy photo)

While many think the holidays are the happiest time of the year, there are a number those prone to the holiday blues.

Christmas is the time of year where people experience high incidences of depression stated the National Institute of Health (NIH). Hospitals and police forces report high incidences of suicide and attempted suicide during this time of the year.

Holiday depression can bring different kinds of stressors, whether it is financial reasons to loss of a loved one, unresolved conflicts between your family and divorce. Self-reflection can also be a big factor when an individual feels a sense of personal failure or has not achieved personal goals throughout the year. Dr. Josh Essery expounded that these conflicts can lead to serious symptoms many should look into.

“Holiday depression symptoms can be simple or go to extremes, depending on the person,” Dr. Essery told La Prensa. “You may find it hard to sleep, or you might find yourself to want to do nothing but sleep. Sometimes you find yourself eating a lot more, or you might find yourself not whipping up an appetite, feeling low energy, withdraw from people and not want to attend holiday events. People can have all of these or a combination of them.”

Psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals report a significant increase in patients complaining about depression. One North American survey reported that 45 percent of respondents dreaded this festive season.

Although these symptoms flare up, there are some ways to cope with these symptoms and feelings.

Re-evaluate yourself positively – If you find yourself in a place where you are evaluating yourself in a negative light and you are feeling badly about some aspect of your personal image throughout the year, consider certain things that you are not giving yourself. It is important to ask another person to help you with this and bring out what positive things you bring to this world. Sometimes, when an individual is depressed, negative self-evaluations tend to make one evaluate themselves in an unrealistic light.

Resolve conflicts – Focus on any grudges that this depression is representing, and/or if there are any past feelings of hurt that we have not dealt with. Try to think about ways to forgive others because the end result can lead for an individual to feel more compassion during the holidays.

Self-care – Our bodies and minds are connected, and making sure that you are taking care of your body is really important. Get a good amount of sleep with an average of seven to eight hours, physical activity on a regular basis and a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables without excess amounts of caffeine and sugar.

Tips for co-parenting – If a person is in a co-parenting relationship or a part of a nontraditional family, it is important that the parents of those families manage their own conflict and their own feelings for the good of the child.

If you are in a co-parenting situation, ask yourself if you are interacting in ways that are loyal to your children. Try to find a way to settles old scores during the holidays, and try to communicate with children and other parent fully and directly.

“In reality, the depression during the holidays could be an indication that the person should attend to those conflicts before they get worse every holiday season so that the next holiday season could be experienced differently,” concluded Dr. Essery.