Your Healthy Family

Dec 13, 2012 10:55 AM by Marissa Torres

How to protect against the 'Holiday Blues'

The holidays are meant to be a time full of joy and celebration, but for some it's instead, a time of sadness. Commonly dubbed, the "Holiday Blues," experts say you need to know the warning signs.

"The holidays magnify a sense of loss or something that's missing," says Dr. Richard Marciniak, a psychiatrist with Peak View Behavioral Health in Colorado Springs.

That loss could be anything from the death of a loved one, to military families with someone overseas, even parents who are now empty-nesters. Eventually the strong emotions stir up a whirlwind of pain.

"I'm lonely, I'm isolated, I'm sad, I'm feeling, the holidays are magnifying some deficit in my life. Those people are somewhat vulnerable to becoming clinically depressed."

That depression can quickly worsen as typical holiday stressors come into play. From the pressure to spend money on gifts, to travel headaches; people simply take on too much. Experts say the best thing you can do is talk to someone. Whether it be a friend, family member, or a licensed professional.

Dr. Marciniak says volunteering can also be a welcomed distraction.

"You're going to feel involved, you're going to feel some meaning to what you're doing, and it's going to help you pass the time."

If you notice someone you care about is acting different, seems far removed, always tried, or can't seem to stay focused, you may need to get them help.

Peak View Behavioral Health has further resources available on their website, you can also call 719-444-8484.

You can also contact your local health department.

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