Got the ‘Holiday Blues?’ If so, You Are Not Alone.

Your Bridge to Health; Promoting Optimal Wellness for Body, Mind and Spirit

Your Bridge to Health; Promoting Optimal Wellness for Body, Mind and Spirit

Tis the Season … But ‘Happy Holidays’ Does Not Ring True for Everyone.

According to information from the Cleveland Clinic, “approximately one half million of the U.S. population suffers from winter SAD, while 10 to 20 percent may suffer from a more mild form of winter blues.“

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is defined as “major depressive disorder with seasonal pattern.’‘Winter’ or ‘Holiday blues,’ are less severe forms of seasonal mood disorder. Holiday Blues Defined – “Feelings of sadness, loneliness, depression and anxiety in and around the holidays, caused by loss of family and loved ones through divorce or distance from the childhood home or place where the holidays were most enjoyed in years past.”

Types of Depression

  • Major Depression.
  • Persistent Depressive Disorder.
  • Bipolar Disorder.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
  • Psychotic Depression.
  • Peripartum (Postpartum) Depression.
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
  • ‘Situational’ or Reactive Depression.

Depression Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) –

  • More than 1 out of 20 Americans 12 years of age and older reported current depression (moderate or severe depressive symptoms in the past 2 weeks) in 2009-2012. (Figure at right.)
  • Among Americans 12 years of age and over, a greater percentage of females reported depression than females.
  • Almost 10% of adults aged 40-59 reported current depression.

Symptoms of Depression – According to the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic (DCSM) criteria for Major Depressive Disorder, a person must experience five or more symptoms below for a continuous period of at least two weeks.

  • Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, depressed mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that used to be enjoyable
  • Change in weight or appetite (either increase or decrease)
  • Change in activity: being more active than usual or being less active than usual
  • Changes in Sleep Patterns: Insomnia (difficulty sleeping) or sleeping too much
  • Feeling tired or not having any energy
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Difficulties concentrating and paying attention
  • Thoughts of death or suicide.

Check with your doctor if you are experiencing these symptoms. For a diagnosis of depression, most symptoms must be present every day or nearly every day and must cause significant distress or problems in daily life functioning. Request a referral to a qualified licensed therapist (psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, mental health counselor) if these symptoms are severe and/or disrupting your daily life, work or relationships. Seek Professional Help for Depression.

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Cardamom “Queen of Spices”

Cardamom “Queen of Spices”


June is PTSD Awareness Month

Promoting Optimal Wellness for Body, Mind & Spirit

Promoting Optimal Wellness for Body, Mind & Spirit

June has been designated PTSD Awareness Month by the National Center for PTSD (NCPTSD).

PTSD VA-NCPTSD_Color-Logo-1034h

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder resulting from exposure to a single or multiple traumatic events, such physical or sexual assault, natural or man-made disaster, and war-related combat stress. Symptoms of PTSD include persistent intrusive thoughts and distressing dreams about the traumatic event, triggered emotional responses to reminders of the trauma, efforts to avoid thinking or talking about the trauma, and persistent hypervigilance for cues that indicate additional danger or trauma re-occurring.

PTSD Statistics –

According to the National Center for PTSD,

  • about 7 to 8 percent of the U.S. population will have PTSD at some point in their lives.
  • about 5.2 million adults have PTSD during a given year.
  • Veterans with PTSD by service era:
    • Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom: About 11-20%
    • Gulf War (Desert Storm):  12%
    • Vietnam War: Estimated that 30% of Vietnam Veterans have had PTSD in their lifetime.
    • Estimated # of Veteran suicides per day – 20 (Source: CDC)

Some Symptoms of PTSD –

  • Anxiety and/or Depression
  • Sleep Disturbance and Nightmares
  • Irritability and outbursts of anger
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Hypervigilance (on constant “red alert”)
  • Feeling jumpy and easily startled
  • Substance Abuse
  • Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings

**Anyone can get PTSD at any age. If you or someone you know are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your physician for assistance.

Some Treatments for PTSD –

  • Counseling – Psychotherapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Family
  • EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
  • Medications for anxiety/depression

Complementary and Integrative Therapies for PTSD  –

  • Acupuncture
  • Hypnosis
  • Meditation
  • Qi Gong
  • Reiki
  • Relaxation Techniques
  • Yoga

Many hospitals in the Boston area now advertise integrative healthcare programs. Fort Hood (TX,) Fort Belvoir (VA) and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (MD) offer integrative healthcare services to veterans (Eg. massage, reiki, reflexology and yoga.) A 2008 American Hospital Association survey found that 84 percent of hospitals reported patient demand as the primary rationale in offering complementary and integrative medicine services.

~ Ask your physician about ordering counseling and integrative services for PTSD, stress and/or pain management. When in the hospital, ask if these services are available. ~

Sources and for More Information –

Flags at Stacey Blvd

(*Flag photo shared with permission of Jay Albert. Thanks Jay!)

My Pledge – Veterans diagnosed with PTSD can sign up for a FREE sample session of Reiki during the month of June. Reiki (ray-kee) Ryoho is a Japanese healing method/art that is offered through light or non-touch to create a relaxed state of mind and body. Reiki is offered for relaxation, stress reduction and pain relief, offered as part of an integrative healthcare program. Note: Reiki is not meant to take the place of conventional medicine or healthcare, but is intended as supportive care.

Reiki at NSMC FB

Relax and Restore with Reiki

To Schedule a Sample Reiki Session During the Month of June – Email – or call – 978-283.4258. Register Early. Space is limited. FREE Sample Sessions will be offered to Veterans with a diagnosis of PTSD – Wednesdays in Danvers MA at Lahey Outpatient Center, Danvers MA. Thursdays  at the North Shore Medical Dental Center, Peabody MA.

Ongoing Dreamtime Wellness™ Reiki Shares/Clinics (‘By Donation’)  –

  • ‘Community Reiki Share’ first Tuesdays in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA
  • ‘Reiki Clinic’ – second Wednesdays in Danvers MA

‘Reiki Shares/Clinics’ are an affordable way to experience the relaxation benefits of Reiki. 

All Levels of Reiki Training Available at Dreamtime Wellness™ – Thorough, supportive training for those that wish to learn Reiki as a tool for ‘relaxation, stress reduction, and pain relief,’ for self-care, with loved ones or at advanced levels, you may wish to work in a professional setting.

Reiki Peace Circle 220px-1988_PAX_100

When people ask about Reiki, I often think of the Mikey cereal commercial – “Try It, You’ll Like It.”  Reiki is best explained through the experience of a session.   ~ Karen 

~ Karen Pischke B.S.N., R.N., Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, Reiki Teacher/Shihan, Tobacco Treatment Specialist. In addition to a private wellness business, Karen has been employed as the RN/Reiki Provider and Hypnotherapist at NSMC, RN/Reiki Provider at Mass General Cancer Center (Danvers and Boston,) and currently is the RN/Reiki Provider at Lahey Danvers Outpatient Center/for the Pain Management Integrative Healthcare. Owner/Founder of Dreamtime Wellness™ Since 2000. Promoting Optimal Wellness for Body, Mind & Spirit. More information can be found at – Follow on Facebook –


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