April 3, 2023

Coping with Depression During the Holidays

By Natasha Beals
Mental Health & Wellbeing

Easter is such a wonderful holiday that is quickly approaching! You get a chance to spend time with family and friends that you may have not seen for quite some time. While it is a time to eat, laugh, reminisce, and enjoy each other’s company,  for some individuals, this holiday, and others, can also be a tough time because of their struggle with depression.

What is Depression?

According to the National Institutes of Mental Health, depression is a common mood disorder, which can be serious. Depression can cause severe symptoms that can affect how you feel, think and handle daily activities such as sleeping, eating or working. Symptoms must be persistent for at least two weeks in order to be diagnosed with depression.

Some signs and symptoms of depression can be feelings of sadness, hopelessness, irritability, or frustration. Those experiencing depression may lose interest in hobbies and activities, experience decreased energy, have difficulty concentrating and have issues with their sleep pattern. They may also experience thoughts of death, have suicide ideation, or have attempted suicide. Physical symptoms may also be prevalent, such as headaches, cramps, or aches and pains.

Types of Depression

There are several different types of depression and Major Depression is what we might typically think of. This type will affect a person’s ability to work, sleep, study and eat. To name a few more, there’s also:

  • Persistent Depressive Disorder: Also known as Dysthymia, this type can last up to 2 years, and the symptoms are not as severe as major depression.
  • Perinatal Depression: Also known as postpartum depression, this type usually occurs during a woman’s pregnancy or after the delivery of the baby.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder: This type is quite common, and usually occurs in the late fall and early winter. This form of depression tends to end during the spring and summer because of the increase in sunlight.
  • Depression with Symptoms of Psychosis: Coupled with the typical symptoms of depression, this type is severe and can bring about delusions or hallucinations.

Ways to Cope

While these aren’t a cure-all, if you are suffering from depression, you can try the following activities to help improve your mood and allow you to truly enjoy upcoming events:

  • Be aware of your symptoms and triggers, and try to manage them as you notice them.
  • Surround yourself with supportive family members and friends.
  • Stick to simple plans for the holiday. Try setting some small goals for yourself, do what you can, and don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t get them all done.
  • Be patient with yourself and your symptoms. Do not set high expectations of yourself in regards to how you should feel during the holidays.

If you’re struggling with depression and need further support, talk to a therapist! The holidays can be tough, but we are here to help you navigate them. You are not alone. Don’t hesitate to reach out today!

Written By

Natasha Beals

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