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Holidays & Depression

Updated on December 17, 2014
Overcoming depression during the Holidays
Overcoming depression during the Holidays | Source

How can I handle the Holidays if I feel depressed?

The Holidays are here and we all want to spend quality time with our family and friends. For some people, spending time with our love ones during the holidays is not an option. You may be the wife or husband of a soldier that is on active duty, or maybe your family lives in another country the list goes on. During the holidays people suffer more from depression than any other time of the year. Ocassional feeling "Blue" is normal for from time to time according to medical research, but not over a 3 week period. If the feelings interfere with your daily activities please consult your doctor.There are several types of depression, according to NIMH medical research, if you or someone you love show any of these signs of depression please talk to someone :

  • Major Depression- Severe symptoms that intefere with your ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy life. An episode can occur only once in a person's lifetime, but more often a person has several episodes.
  • Persistent depressive disorder- A depressed mood that lasts for at least 2 years. A person diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder may have episodes of major depression along with periods of less severe symptoms, but symptoms must last for 2 years.
  • Psychotic depression- Which occurs when a person has severe depression pluse some form of psychosis, such as having disturbing false belief or a break with reality (delusions), or hearing or seeing upsetting things that others cannot hear or see (hallucinations).
  • Postpartum depression- Which is much more serious than "baby blues" that many women experience after giving birth. Hormonal and physical changes and the new responsibility of a newborn can be overwhelming. It is estimated that 10 to 15 percent of women experience postpartum depression after giving birth.

My trust in God flows out of the experience of his loving me, day in and day out, whether the day is stormy or fair, whether I'm sick or in good health, whether I'm in a state of grace or disgrace. He comes to me where I live and love me as I am.

— Brennan Manning

My Experience With Depression

Personally, I experienced postpartum depression after giving birth to my child. It was during the Holidays, and I was very stressed out. I had what is called "Baby Blues" feeling overwhelm, and a fear of making a mistake. I expressed these feelings to my doctor and I decided to take anti-depressants. After a three to four week period, I started to feel like myself again. Women go through hormonal and emotional changes after giving birth. Talking to someone about postpartum depression does not make you a bad mom. Reaching out for help shows that you love and care for your child. If your feelings of depression continue it's important that you contact your doctor. Signs and Symptoms by the NIMH guidelines:

  • Persistent sadness, anxious, or "empty feelings"
  • Feelings of hopelessness "my life will never get better"
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Sadness, restlessness

Depression Symptoms NIMH

Loss of Interest In Activities
Fatigue-Decreased Energy
Sadness and Despair
Don't enjoy hobbies that you participated in before
Difficulty concentrating or remembering things
Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
Don't have a sex drive
Insomnia or excessive sleeping
Aches or pains, headaches, and cramps
Withdrawal from family and friends
Overeating or loss of appetite
Digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
Depression-Loss of interest, Fatigue, Sadness and Despair

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Reach out during the Holidays
Reach out during the Holidays | Source

During the Holidays how can we reach out to someone feeling "Blue" ?

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Who Tends To Be Most Depressed (Study Conducted By The CDC)

This study found the following groups to be more likely to meet criteria for major depression:

  • Persons 45-64 of age
  • Women
  • Hispanics, African Americans, Non Hispanic persons of other races, or multiple races
  • Persons with less than a high school education
  • Those previously married
  • Individuals unable to work or unemployed
  • Persons without health insurance coverage

Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits.

— Thomas Jefferson

Treatments (FDA)

Feelings of depression
Other antidepressants work on the neurotransmitter dopamine
You should never stop taking your medication without consulting your doctor
Withdrawal from family and friends and not wanting to participate in activities that use to interest you
Scientists have found these particular chemicals are involved in regulating mood
Antidepressants are not addictive, but suddenly ending them can cause withdrawl symptoms
Overeating, or loss of appetite
Treatment for Depression


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    • Carol McCullough profile image

      Success In Life 3 years ago from U.S.

      Thank you,

    • profile image

      Linda George 3 years ago

      Blessings to you and yours too!

    • Carol McCullough profile image

      Success In Life 3 years ago from U.S.

      Great point Linda, during the Holiday season we think about our family and friends that are not here with us. Knowing that one day we will see them again, blessings...

    • Linda J George profile image

      Linda J George 3 years ago from Georgia

      Hi Carol, yes a lot of people have depression during the holidays. A lot think that it is because people pass away more often at this time of year, when in reality, it is just sadder because we are in a happy spirit for the season. People pass away at any time of year, but it seems to hurt more at this time of year. This was great, thanks for sharing!

    • Carol McCullough profile image

      Success In Life 3 years ago from U.S.

      Hi billy, really appreciate you sharing your story, sometimes sharing with others what you have overcome can help someone who may not see a way out..

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I used to drink heavily for the holidays. It was my solution the the inevitable blues. When that didn't work I learned coping skills...a serious problem for many, and you handled it well.