This is the time of year when those who are vulnerable to depression may feel their symptoms. They might begin to have low moods, isolate from family and friends, have negative thoughts, and experience low levels of energy. Depression can also make a person ignore their hygiene, have suicidal thoughts, and believe in their negative thoughts about themselves.
Typically, this is the time of year to be with family and friends. However, if previous years included experiences of trauma, a death in the family, conflict, domestic violence, or other challenging experiences, then the holiday season can be a trigger for these memories. And for many people, because of this, the holiday season is also a trigger for depression and the symptoms listed above.
And, depression might come on for other reasons too. If a person is lonely or alone for the holidays, then this too might trigger depression. If a person tends to experience depression throughout the year, it’s possible that the holidays may exacerbate his or her symptoms. And addiction to drugs or alcohol can contribute to depression.
Whatever the reason, depression is a progressive illness, meaning that it needs to be treated or it will only get worse. In fact, if depression is not treated, thoughts of suicide and an attempt can take a person’s life. If you find that your depression has gotten worse during this time of the year (or any time), it is worth getting treatment for this illness.
Treatment for depression includes medication, therapy, and sometimes residential treatment. Research has shown that the best treatment for depression is both medication and therapy combined. The medication can help balance out the chemicals in the brain, thereby relieving someone of their symptoms. And therapy can address the underlying issues that might have contributed (or is contributing) to the depression. If depression is severe and significantly interrupting a person’s daily life, he or she may want to consider a residential treatment center. The advantage with this form of treatment is that it provides someone with a healing environment as well as professional staff at hand. Residential treatment also brings a person in touch with others who are experiencing depression. Group therapy experiences and support groups are other forms of treatment can greatly facilitate healing.
Although it is the holiday season, getting treatment for depression may be necessary. In fact, because this is a vulnerable time for many men and women, this may be the time in which symptoms clearly reveal themselves, indicating that treatment is necessary.
If you believe that you need treatment, the first step to take is to call a mental health professional in your neighborhood. You can either look online for a therapist or psychologist nearby. Or you can look in your local phone book. Keep in mind that a therapist or psychologist can assess you for depression. However, it is a psychiatrist who would prescribe any necessary medications, if necessary. If you talk to a therapist first, it is likely that he or she will refer you to a psychiatrist in your area.
The most important step to take, however, is to talk to someone. As mentioned earlier, depression can become serious. If you believe you have symptoms, no matter what time of year, call a mental health professional for support!
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