PINE BELT, Mississippi (WDAM) – As the holiday season draws to a close, seasonal depression is at its peak according to medical leaders.
The holidays can be a joyous time for family and friends, but they can also add additional stress. Caroline Smith, director of addiction services at Pine Grove, explained why people may feel sad during this time.
âWhat also contributes to the holiday blues is that this holiday season comes when the days are the shortest in the calendar year. And, due to the time change, it gets darker earlier, so people have less opportunity to be exposed to natural sunlight. And SAD, seasonal affective disorder. A lot of people suffer from it and it happens most often in January and February, âSmith said.
Smith also says people can have unrealistic expectations of wanting the perfect vacation, which can eventually make you feel overwhelmed. This is one of the many reasons why it’s important to get back to your pre-vacation routine.
âThere’s going to be a rebound effect where the brain tries to reach homeostasis, it doesn’t just go there, it often goes to the other side and we have these symptoms of depression and blues,â Smith said. .
South Central Behavioral Health therapist Rhonda Smith explains that there are symptoms people should watch out for.
âThe symptoms of seasonal depression are just a change in your behavior. You want to withdraw from others, you sleep too much or not enough. You no longer have a feeling of hopelessness and helplessness. So every time you have a change in mood you might want to take a look and see what’s causing it, âSmith said.
Smith also suggests taking advantage of as much natural sunlight as possible, while making sure you take your daily vitamins such as vitamin C.
âIf you feel like you need help, ask for therapy, ask for medication if you need it. If it is something as bad as having thoughts of suicide, always seek help, âSmith said.
Both experts say being mindful of your emotions is the key to a successful vacation transition.
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