Unhappy Holidays

   Tis the season to be jolly, but not for everyone. The holiday season can actually exacerbate feelings of isolation and depression for some. People without strong family bonds may feel especially lonely during the holidays. Dr. Mirna Ballestas, clinical psychologist and director of the child and adolescent behavioral health program “Under The Rainbow,” says reflecting on the year can heighten anxiety, and if you add in the pressure to be cheery, it can be a tough time for people suffering from depression or mood disorders….

 Ballestas warns that many people try to distract themselves from negative feelings by overindulging in food, alcohol or drugs, by being promiscuous or by spending too much.  She adds that depressed people also tend to isolate themselves…

            In the Midwest, people who get the blues around the holiday season may actually be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, which is linked to depression felt during the colder winter months. Ballestas says there are ways to treat that, and not just through medications. Ballestas adds that  instead of glossing over feelings of anxiety, make space for them and talk about them with others. Anyone who experiences lack of motivation or apathy for two or three weeks is advised to seek help.