Managing mental health is important throughout the year. But if you’re one of the millions of Americans affected by depression, the holidays can be especially tough. Fortunately, you can take steps to cope with the impact of holiday depression. And with some advance planning, you can prepare yourself to navigate the inevitable ups and downs of the season.
Need additional help dealing with the effects of holiday depression? Treatment Connection is there for you. We provide a comprehensive database of experienced mental health professionals across the U.S. Day or night during the holidays and throughout the year. With us, you can find the most skilled providers in your local area.
The Causes of Holiday Depression
Why are depression risks higher during the holidays? A number of factors work together to increase your chances of running into difficulties. Those factors include such things as:
- Higher-than-normal amounts of stress
- The physical strain of meeting all of your holiday commitments
- Tensions within your close or extended family
You may also have other risks. For example, some people suffer from the seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. This is a form of major depression triggered by the drop in sunlight during the fall and winter.
Navigating Holiday Depression
Experts recommend doing a variety of things to diminish the effects of holiday depression. Specific recommendations include:
- Paying close attention to your depression symptoms
- Taking steps to manage those symptoms as soon as possible
- Relying on the support of trusted friends and loved ones
- Simplifying your holiday calendar and time commitments
- Getting plenty of exercises
- Eating a well-balanced diet
- Cutting back on your consumption of junk food
- Staying away from alcohol, which can make your symptoms worse
- Being honest with yourself about your mental state
- Forgiving yourself for not being in the holiday mood
Don’t wait until the last minute to put your coping plan together. Instead, take time and prepare yourself for what’s coming. The more effort you put into preventing an escalation of symptoms, the greater the odds you will succeed.
There is also another important recommendation: admitting when your coping efforts are not enough. You may find that especially hard to do during the holidays, but this last recommendation is crucial. A depression treatment program will have the resources needed to support you during difficult times.
Forms of Seasonal Depression Treatment
What types of seasonal depression treatment are available? If you’ve completed a treatment program in the past, you can do several things. For example, you can re-enroll in a formal depression treatment program. When doing so, it’s common to enter a less intense type of program than you were in before. You may also be able to check in with your treatment team without formally re-enrolling in a program. In addition, you can seek out a depression support group in your area.
If you think you may be affected by depression, talk to your doctor. A mental health evaluation will help determine if you need treatment. The vast majority of Americans live within traveling distance of a high-quality depression treatment program. If you suffer from SAD, you will need treatment geared toward that specific condition.
Use Treatment Connection to Find a Local Depression Treatment Program for You
At Treatment Connection, we’re committed to supporting your mental wellness efforts. That’s why we provide nationwide resources for anyone seeking effective depression treatment. All providers in our database meet our stringent criteria for skill and experience. What’s more, you can use that database anonymously. You can also search at your convenience by provider name or zip code. Either way, you can rest assured of the quality of your results.