Tips for coping with holiday depression

wwny Tips for coping with holiday depression

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The holiday season is supposed be a happy time but it can also be overwhelming for those dealing with depression or anxiety.

Between shorter days, the financial strain of shopping, get-togethers, or the loss of a loved one, psychologist Dr. Megan McRae says depression “comes up a lot during holidays. There is a lot of extra stress, extra triggers.”

Signs of holiday depression include loss of motivation, irritability, and changes in sleep or appetite.

"Get help. It can be a lonely, it can be a rough season. You can talk to your regular doctor, you can call and see a therapist. Even just socializing, getting out with that good friend that you can actually be yourself with," said McRae.

If one of your family members is suffering from depression this season, McRae says it important to accept their emotions and behaviors with them.

"You want to check in, hey, how are you doing? Is there anything I can do? You open the door so they can approach you if they want to approach you but you don't smother them and force the approach otherwise that can be very overwhelming," said McRae.

For those who may feel stigma or embarrassed about their depression, McRae says, "It's much more common than we all feel. Opening up and and talking about it, taking that first step, which takes a lot of bravery and a lot of strength, really can help break that boundary and help you see you're not alone in this."

There are agencies that can help if you're in crisis:

Jefferson County: 315-782-2327

Lewis County: 315-376-5450 or 315-405-0696

St. Lawrence County: 315-265-2422

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