Holiday Blues? Or Something Worse?

Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - With the New Year comes resolutions: resolutions to get more fit, resolutions to improve life.

But doctors and physical trainers alike see a strain of depression hit people around the holidays and they're hoping they make resolutions to beat Seasonal Affective Disorder.

"It happens because there's less sunlight. There's people wanting to interact more with their families and maybe can't. They start to feel down and maybe a little sad. Maybe money's tight," Carmen Kenner, Medical Center Hospital Mission Fitness Membership Services Director, said.

10 million people across the U.S. suffer from it.

6% of them require hospitalization from it.

The symptoms of the disorder can even be as simple as lingering headaches, fatigue and sadness.

But while it may seem like just a little holiday blues, it could get worse if nothing's done about it.

"A good way to treat that is through a good, healthy diet, some exercise," Kenner said. "It's something that somebody has to invest the time and energy to get."

Investing that time and energy is crucial because the disorder can lead to unhealthy addictions like overeating and drinking to fill that emotional void.

It wreaks havoc on health and trainers see a lot of cases of it just after the holidays.

"I've seen people who could not reach down and touch their own toes, tie their own shoes," Kenner said. "Addictions are a mighty powerful control over somebody, but there's good news in that you can create another addiction, which is exercise."

If no cure for this depression is looked up, the disorder has the chance to change into clinical depression.

"There could be the potential that they need medicines or psychoanalysis," Kenner said.

The only way to find out could be to take your blues into your own hands.