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Featured in Women’s Health – Holiday Depression Is A Real Thing—Here’s How To Deal

Holiday depression is a real thing, and it can sneak up on us if we aren’t careful. With the holidays officially approaching, I was very pleased to help out with this great piece by Korin Miller for Women’s Health on what is holiday depression and what you can do about it.

When most people think of the holidays, they picture a warm, fuzzy time for celebrating old memories and creating new ones. But it’s not all perfectly wrapped presents and cozy sweaters for everyone: The holidays can actually be depressing AF for some people.

For the record, if you’re one of these people, you’re not alone, says Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D., author of Hack Your Anxiety. The holidays can be a lot to deal with, she says, and there are a few reasons why the holidays may be especially tough for you.

1. YOU HAVE SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER (SAD).

Technically, SAD is no longer considered a mental illness under the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), which is the guidebook used by used by doctors and mental health professionals to diagnose psychiatric illnesses.

It is, however, considered something that can influence major depression, along with changes in appetite, sleep, or concentration, tearfulness, fatigue, and hopelessness, Clark says. “That said, the limited daylight, the cold, and the grey weather of winter can be understandable burdens to our mood and wellbeing,” she adds.

If you already suffer from major depression and know that you tend to struggle even more around the holidays, talk to your doctor about ways to manage your symptoms when the cold weather blows in. Also, consider buying an artificial light. “Artificial lights can be seriously helpful in giving just a bit of mood boost when the days are short, and the sun is low or too often hidden behind clouds,” Clark says.

2. THERE’S A LOT OF PRESSURE TO GET SH*T DONE.

Okay, seriously—why are the holidays so much work? You have to decorate your place, buy gifts, bake, and go to a bunch of parties (some fun, some…not), among the normal life things you already have to do—and those additional expectations can really take a toll on some people.

“These expectations can drive us to push to our limits, and sometimes beyond,” Clark says. “How we handle this extra pressure matters when it comes to our mental health, and not everyone can pull this off without some sort of fallout.”…

 

To read the full article, click HERE.

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Alicia H. Clark, PsyD

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