Depression may develop as people celebrate the holidays

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -  

The holidays are supposed to be full of joy, but sadly for many people the season is anything but happy and merry.

There are many reasons for getting the blues this Christmas; unemployment, a breakup, finance or the loss of a loved one, but experts say the key to overcome depression lies with family and friends.

The holidays usually bring on many feelings as people prepare to spend time with loved ones.

“The truth is most people are not as happy as they would like to be,” said Dr. Dean Haddock with Community Counseling and Psychological Services.

Isolation and loneliness can affect people from the start of Thanksgiving through the end of the year, developing into much bigger problems down the road.

“The grief that comes during the holidays from missing people, especially if they have passed away this year is just extreme for a lot of people,” he said.

One way to cope with the blues is eating healthy.  Sugar binges can create feelings similar to an emotional crash.  Also avoid alcohol or substance use as it may lead to further depression.

“People tend to drink more during this time of year, and that’s a real challenge because that increases the stress and they think they are drinking to cope with the stress but it actually makes it worse,” said Haddock.

Signs of depression include feeling hopeless, loss of interest in activities or hobbies, fatigue, anxious or having that ‘empty’ feeling.

“If they start finding themselves not being able to sleep well, they don’t feel rested when they wake up, their appetite; they either want to eat too much or too little or even if they start thinking hey maybe it would be better off if I’m not alive then you need to hear that and the people you care about and come along side them,” he said.

Experts say dealing with depression doesn’t have to be something you face alone.  Share your feelings with family and friends.

“One of the good things is that we need to keep an eye on each other and when we see symptoms of people stressing, being more irritable than normal, just a question like ‘hey, you okay?’ ‘things are going to be okay,’ ‘you’re going to be okay,’ will help,” he said.

Experts say acknowledging your feelings is when the healing process begins and that’s the perfect time to contact a professional to help you sort out all the things causing issues in your life.

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Carlos is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/carloscorrea23abc

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