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Under Wraps: Uncovering the Secrets and Lies of the Holiday Season
Date:11/24/2008

SEYMOUR, Tenn., Nov. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Most people think of the holidays as a time for joy and togetherness. However for many Americans, women especially, the season can be an emotionally trying time. The buildup of the pressure to create the ideal holiday experience can trigger social and emotional stressors that have negative consequences, such as depression, anxiety and substance dependency.

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"During the holidays we start to see more women looking for treatment," said Jacqueline Dawes, founder and owner Brookhaven Retreat, a premier holistic women-only treatment facility for emotional trauma and addiction. "These women are looking for an escape. They are often so exhausted from the pressure of the season that all areas of their health, both physical and mental, begin to breakdown."

The three main triggers of holiday depression include relationships, finances and physical demands, according to the Mayo Clinic. Women may be more vulnerable to these triggers due to the fact they have been socialized from birth to be caretakers. A survey by the National Women's Health Resource Center states that two-thirds of women report depression during the holidays. The added pressure of creating the perfect Thanksgiving dinner or holiday outing, combined with the everyday stress of balancing a job, family, education and finances can limit the amount of time women have to relax and avoid these painful holiday triggers.

Here are a few suggestions to help combat the holiday depression that many will experience this season.

-- Seek support from friends or family members.

-- Plan ahead -- Set aside specific days for shopping, visiting with friends, baking, and other activities.

-- Stick to a budget -- Before going sh
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SOURCE Brookhaven Retreat
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