Navigation Links
Surviving the Holiday Blues

FRIDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) Christmas and other winter holidays are supposed to be a happy time of year, which makes it all the more stressful when they are anything but joyous.

This is the time of the year when people are especially vulnerable to depression, Dr. Angelos Halaris, a psychiatrist with the Loyola University Health System, said in a university news release. Shopping and entertaining can be stressful, while reflecting on lost loved ones can renew feelings of grief. Add to that the turmoil caused by the poor economy. All these things can help depression gain a foothold in certain individuals.

What to do? If you're feeling extremely depressed and unable to function, consult a mental health professional immediately. Danger signs include two or more weeks of mood problems, crying jags, changes in appetite and energy levels, overwhelming shame or guilt, loss of interest in daily activities, difficulty concentrating and grim thoughts about death or suicide.

If you feel like your symptoms aren't severe but still make you miserable, Halaris has these suggestions:

"Exercise works. Having replenishing relationships matter. Doing things that you find rewarding and fulfilling is helpful, as is attending religious services," Halaris said in the news release. "Getting plenty of sleep and taking care of yourself works. We all have our limits, and learning to live within those limits is important."

Be aware that depression, exhaustion and lack of interest in life could be a sign of seasonal affective disorder, caused by the lack of sunlight. One frequent symptom is a desire for sweets.

"The most common type of this mood disorder occurs during the winter months," Halaris said. "SAD is thought to be related to a chemical imbalance in the brain, brought on by lack of light due to winters shorter days and typically overcast skies."

What can you do about SAD? "If at all possible, get outside during winter, even if it is overcast," Halaris said. "Expose your eyes to natural light for one hour each day. At home, open the drapes and blinds to let in natural light. SAD can be effectively treated with light therapy, antidepressant medication and/or psychotherapy."

If you feel the blues because you're lost in grief, Loyola bereavement counselor Nancy Kiel suggests that it's important to acknowledge your loss.

"Start a new tradition to honor and remember your loved one," Kiel said. "Light a special candle or at dinner, have everyone share a favorite memory or all can take part in a loved ones favorite holiday activity. Do something that would make your loved one smile."

She also suggests that you avoid shopping at the mall -- go online instead -- and focus on being around people who are caring and supportive.

More information

Learn more about depression at the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

-- Randy Dotinga

SOURCE: Loyola University Health System, press release, Dec. 10, 2010.

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. The Practical Visionary Offers Eight Keys to Surviving and Thriving in the 21st Century
2. Chances of surviving cardiac arrest depends on your neighborhood
3. Surviving Cardiac Arrest Depends on Your Location
4. Social Security Disability Benefits Can Be Crucial to Surviving With Spinal Cord Injury, Allsup Reports
5. The probability of surviving nine types of cancer is analyzed
6. Management science guru, surviving cancer, offers hope to fellow sufferers, doctors
7. Jim Huber to Serve as National Spokesman for Know Your Score: Fight Prostate Campaign at Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday in August
8. Most Holiday Injuries to Kids Spurred by Everyday Mishaps
9. DTWI's Travel Carbon Monoxide Detector Prevents Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Whilst Holidaying Abroad, or in the UK
10. Declare Your Skin-dependence this Holiday with Patriotic, Playful Products from TruKid, the Award-Winning Line of Safe, Natural Products for Children
11. Keep Outdoor Parties Pest Free During July 4 Holiday
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Surviving the Holiday Blues
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... 13, 2015 , ... Vision Group Holdings, the largest LASIK provider in North ... including The LASIK Vision Institute and TLC Laser Eye Centers, Vision Group Holdings has ... vision correction. , Global Laser Vision will continue to operate in San Diego as ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 , ... "My friend's ... his fists into his infected cheeks," said an inventor from Platteville, Colo. "I came ... skin problems." , He developed the UNTOUCHABLE to prevent a child from rubbing or ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... ENGAGE, at HIMSS’s Patient Engagement Summit . HealthAware is a technology company ... health programs and interventions via mobile devices that provide a framework for the ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... Altec Products, Inc., ... of the Microsoft Dynamics AXUG, GPUG and NAVUG Summits to take place the ... Summit are independent user conferences designed and led by users to provide attendees ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... Williamsport, PA (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... (SH) 2015 utility costs were 36 percent lower per square foot than in 2009. ... the actual cost of heating and cooling has decreased by eight percent. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... Regen BioPharma, Inc. , (OTCBB: RGBP, ... , PhD as its new president.  Dr. Lander will work ... as Regen BioPharma prepares to take the next steps ... Regen BioPharma, Inc. , (OTCBB: RGBP, OTC: RGBP) ... as its new president.  Dr. Lander will work closely with ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... HANGZHOU, China , Oct. 13, 2015 ... (the "Company" or " China Jo-Jo "), a leading ... health care products through its own online and retail ... for the Company,s official branded online pharmacy through ... profit margin was a record 25%. ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... World Thrombosis Day Interactive Infographic ...   --> World Thrombosis Day Interactive ... promote vital global awareness of thrombosis, its causes, ... the formation of potentially deadly blood clots in ... thromboembolism (VTE) - or the artery (arterial thrombosis) [1] ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: