A Note about Depression and the Holidays
A Note about Depression and the Holidays
Heidi Wells

For many of us, the holidays are a time of family, food and joy. However research has shown that there is a higher risk of depression and anxiety during the holiday season for both adults and Children.

Sadness or depression at holiday time can be a reaction to the stresses and demands of the season. In other cases, people may feel depressed around the winter holidays due to a condition known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), sometimes referred to as seasonal depression. This is a type of depression that tends to occur (and recur) as the days grow shorter in the fall and winter. 

Risk factors for depression, anxiety, and stress during the holidays include having a mood disorder or experiencing depression at other times during the year and a lack of adequate social support systems.  

Other risk factors can include recent trauma, life changes, excessive alcohol intake, or concurrent illness. Having financial troubles may increase one's susceptibility to anxiety or stress during the holidays. Stressful family situations or an illness in the family are also predisposing factors.  

Essentially, any factor that can cause depression, stress, or anxiety in an individual can worsen these conditions at holiday time. Others may experience post-holiday sadness after New Year's. This can result from built-up expectations and disappointments from the previous year, coupled with stress and fatigue.

How to treat holiday depression  Anxiety, depression, and stress can be treated by a variety of medical and mental-health professionals. Medical doctors, including family medicine doctors, psychologists, social workers, and mental-health counselors. There are many resources in the Walla Walla Valley to assist you or a family member who may be suffering from depression or anxiety. Check out 10 Tips for Surviving the Holidays from Psychology Today.

Resources:

Comprehensive Mental Health  
1520 Kelly Place Walla Walla, WA 99362 
Hours Monday- Friday 8:00 am -5:00 pm  
Phone: 509-522-4000  
24/7 Crisis Number: 509-524-2999  
Comprehensive Mental Health will be Closed November 23 & 24 and December  22 & 25. 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Walla Walla Chapter 
http://www.namiwallawalla.org/community  

SOS Health Clinic
 
1200 SE 12th Street College Place, WA 
509-529-1418 
Hours vary daily 

YWCA Domestic Violence 24/7 Crisis Line 509-529-9922 

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All of us at College Place Public Schools wish your family a joyous and safe holiday season.