Tips on Struggling with Holiday Depression

Holiday depression refers to situational depression that’s often experienced during the holidays when individuals can feel a combination of stress, sadness and high expectations.  ABC 31 News’ Joel Massey spoke with a mental health professional about what to do if you have holiday depression.

Karlee Beville with Longleaf Hospital said, “This time of year can be really hard for people for a lot of reasons.  Seasonal depression can pop up because it gets darker earlier our serotonin levels can be a little different than usual.  Also, the holidays are a really hard time for a lot of people especially if you’re grieving, going through a divorce of if Christmas doesn’t look like it normally does.”

Beville has these tips for those fighting holiday depression.

“It’s important that you reach out to your support system talk to someone, and if it’s getting to the point where it’s affecting your day-to-day life then reach out for help.  There are lots of outpatient counseling services in the area, and if it’s reaching a point where it’s getting you into a crisis or you don’t feel very safe with yourself, we are here at Longleaf Hospital.  We provide inpatient psychiatric care for those that are struggling.”

Beville talks about why the holidays are more likely to bring depression.

“It can have a lot of emotions pop up because of the holidays, because of it getting darker earlier, people can feel more isolated if they didn’t have someone to spend the holidays with.  Relapses are more common during this time if you struggle with substance use as well.  Family problems can kind of come to a head around the holidays and lots of stressors things like that.”

Beville says it’s important to reach out if you’re hurting.

“I think the biggest thing to overcome when seeking help for mental health is the stigma and that it’s ok to not be ok.”