‘Holiday Blues’ and What You Can Do Improve Your Mood

Wishing everyone a Happy, Healthy Holiday! 

Unfortunately, the holidays are not always a joyful time for everyone. According to one survey by the American Psychological Association (APA), people may experience mixed emotions and increased stress during the holidays.

  • Positive Emotions at the Holidays: Happiness, Love, Connectedness, Higher Energy
  • Negative Emotions at the Holidays: Fatigue, Stress, Irritability, Sadness, Feeling Isolated

Increased Stressors at the Holidays May Include:

  • Overstretched for time/money
  • Pressures of gift giving and family gatherings
  • Staying on a (healthy eating plan)
  • Travel

56% reported they experience the most stress at work.

Social Isolation Can Add to Holiday Blues.

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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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