For Some, The Holiday Season Means the Holiday Blues - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: |

For Some, The Holiday Season Means the Holiday Blues

By Alicia Neaves
NewsWest 9

While many look forward to the holidays, like spending time with family or opening Christmas gifts, others dread this time of year.

During what many consider the happiest time of the year, for some it's the worst as it triggers depression. It could be weather related, they might not have any family to celebrate with, or the holiday stress gets the best of them.

This time of year, many are filled with holiday cheer. But when late fall hits and winter begins, many face the holiday blues.

"A lot of folks, with the additional stress of having family around, that can really really add up to causing significant mood problems," Psychiatrist, Associate Professor and Regional Chair at Texas Tech Health Science Center at the Permian Basin, Dr. Bobby Jain, said.

Some are diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder, where their mood directly correlates to the weather. A lack of sunlight causes depression symptoms.

"The depression tends to go away as soon as exposure to sunlight gets more and more," Jain said.

During the holidays, many spend a lot of time indoors with family and friends. That also plays a role in this seasonal depression.

For others, the added holiday stress is enough to keep away the comfort and joy.

"Most people say that it has to be picture perfect in a sense that no one is unhappy, everybody is happy about what they have done. Be it the meal preparation, be it the cleanliness of the house, or other things. Trust me, mother-in-law will always find something to be unhappy about," Jain said.

If you're facing depression or stress during the holidays, doctors say a good amount of sun, exercise and lots of sleep can help. If its not sunny outside, some artificial lights can work.

Also, stick with a budget to avoid post-holiday debt. You can even send a kind note to a family member you don't get along with.

Instead of the added stress on yourself, doctors say be satisfied you're doing your best.

"Holidays do not have to be stressful and dreaded. It can be a joyous occasion if you make small changes," Jain said.

If you or someone you know is facing the holiday blues, here are a couple of events that might be of interest:

December 8: Holiday Stress Community Outreach Luncheon

Midland Memorial Hospital Conference Center, Rooms C & D

12 p.m.

Lunch will be provided

RSVP to 432-620-1023

December 17th: Depression: Facts, Fables and Fears

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Main Campus Auditorium

800 W. 4th St.

12 p.m. - 1 p.m.

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