The holiday blues: what causes seasonal depression?

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Tis the season for bright lights, presents galore and family gatherings. It’s a joyful time for many, but for others the holidays can bring nothing but feelings of emptiness.

“Holidays are a time when people feel stress, stress produces anxiety, anxiety is a very, very common symptom of depression,” said Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail.

It’s one thing that triggers another and Vail says the cold, frigid temperatures during the winter time play another part.

“People have issues with what we refer to as “Seasonal Affective Disorder” so the coldness, the amount of light…all of that sort of stuff starts to affect us and our moods,” Vail stated.

This time of year can also be a time of sorrow if something traumatic happened in your life and Vail says when you put these factors together, it can be a difficult time for people.

“People will be going through the first holiday season without a loved one you know those sorts of things and so then the holidays come along and it brings some sadness along with it sometimes,” said Vail.

But how do you overcome depression? Vail says it’s not as easy as snapping your fingers to make it disappear. She says the first step is becoming aware.

“Be cognizant of your feelings, take care of yourself and get help if it gets to the point where you really need help,” Vail stated.

So you can turn your holiday blues, into one a tad brighter.

If you know someone who is experiencing depression and needs help, we’ve posted a link to the “Community Mental Health Center” in the greater Lansing area under the “Seen on 6” section of our website.

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