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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year…or is it?

It’s the Most Wonderful TimeJust as it should be, the holiday season is a time of cheer and happiness for many people. Unfortunately, others seem to experience an increase of nervous apprehension and intense feelings of sadness and distress during this time of year.

Do you or someone you love get down in the dumps during the holiday season? Feeling blue during this festive time of the year? Holiday depression is more than just feeling sad during this season; it is a very common disorder. The holiday season for many people is a time of self-evaluation, loneliness, reflection on past failures, and anxiety about an uncertain future, which can spiral into depression.

Many factors cause holiday depression. It can be the result of stress, fatigue, unrealistic expectations, over-commercialization, financial constraints, and the inability to be with one’s family and friends. He demands of parties, shopping, houseguests and family reunions can also cause tension during this time.

Unfortunately a majority of those suffering with depression (seasonal or not) are ashamed to discuss their symptoms with their friends and family, either out of fear that they will be dismissed as “party poopers,” or out of a fear that they will ruin others’ holiday experiences.

However, seasonal depression is something that needs to be taken seriously. In many cases, seasonal depression is only a small part of a larger picture. In other words, the individual may actually be suffering from a more chronic form of major depression that is just more noticeable to others during the holiday season.

Clinical depression is different than the holiday blues. Symptoms are more intense, persistent, and last longer. They may start to interfere with your life, often creating difficulties with work and relationships. True depression involves both the mind and body. It affects how we think, feel, and behave. Depression is a real medical condition, just like high blood pressure, and it is treatable.

One in eight adults will develop depression during their lifetime. Women are twice a likely to develop depression as men. Risk factors for developing depression include having a stressful life, diagnosed with a serious illness, recent birth of a child, and substance abuse. In addition, certain prescription medication used to treat sleep disorders, blood pressure, and birth control pills, can increase your chance of developing clinical depression.

The exact cause of depression is not fully understood. It is believed to be related to a combination of factors, such as an imbalance of biochemicals in the brain (neurotransmitters and/or hormones), environmental or situational factors, and genetics. If you have a family member diagnosed with depression, you are at higher risk of developing it over time.

Symptoms of depression typically are both emotional and physical, with a wide range of presentation. Emotional symptoms may consist of poor concentration and focus, irritability, frustration, anger, worry, anxiety, feeling guilty and/or sad, low energy, crying, decrease sexual drive or interest, and appetite changes. Physical symptoms may consist of sleep disturbances, headaches, back and/or neck pain, stomach discomfort, and weight fluctuations.

Does the holiday season create more stress than pleasure? Are you overwhelmed by pressure to purchase gifts, places to go, with seemingly endless tasks to accomplish? Could it just be the “holiday blues” or is it depression? For more information or to talk with someone please call (239) 561-0009 today.

Even when friends and family become aware of depression behaviors, they are often reluctant to discuss it because they are afraid how you will react – and really – they don’t know how to. WE DO. We know how to address your concerns and help you on the path to recovery. Everyone deserves the opportunity to truly enjoy the excitement and cheer that the holidays bring!

www.gulfcoastclinicalresearch.com | 239.561.0009 Call us today.

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