Right after Halloween, the holiday madness begins in full force. The holiday parties and social events, the songs on the radio and commercials on tv; the stores are full of pricey “have to have” gifts to make that special someone feel perfect when they open it up. There are lights and decorations everywhere; everyone should be cheerful and happy, right? Nope. Sheri Rowney from the Harmonized Brain Center in Nashville (pictured) looks at why some get depressed this time of year, and what help there is at hand.
November, through January are traditionally known for the months with the highest rates of depression during the year. Millions of people find it difficult just to make it through the day, much less enjoy all the activities going on around them.
There are many reasons depression rears its ugly head in during what should be a joyful and happy season.
One is shorter days and the lack of sunlight. SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder, (see side story) is known as a major depressive disorder, symptoms associated with it include feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness; thoughts of suicide and loss of interest in activities; difficulty concentrating and changes in appetite. It can be very difficult to get up in the morning, do normal everyday tasks and work efficiently when you are affected by SAD.
The desire to isolate and stay in bed whenever possible exasperates the feelings, making it more and more difficult to function. One solution?
Light therapy and exercise can greatly impact SAD; making it easier to navigate the winter months.
Another reason for depression is missing loved ones during the holidays. It can be very difficult to see others planning time with their loved ones, seeing movie after movie about being together as a family, but not having that same opportunity. Whether it’s long distance creating the divide, or grieving the loss of a loved one, missing someone can cause a person to withdraw, isolate or remove themselves from social situations, which in turn causes more depression. It is important that people feeling lonely and sad resist the urge to do this and instead reach out to friends and loved ones for help. Also, finding a place to volunteer and get involved with helping those less fortunate can help with feeling more needed and appreciated.
Money issues are another reason people struggle during the holidays. It can seem overwhelming to have to attend social functions that require extra cash; buying gifts that aren’t normally in the budget, and even utility bills can be higher during the colder months. It is vitally important to be able to set practical goals; to establish a realistic budget and to be able to say no to things that cost more than you’re able to comfortably spend.
Do not use credit cards unless absolutely necessary; the January bills can cause deep anxiety and depression that far outweigh the gift that was given in December.
Along with the holiday parties and social events, people often change their eating and sleeping habits. Calorie and carb laden food are routinely served and enjoyed, more alcohol may be consumed than normal; sleep deprivation occurs from late nights and stress. All of these things can cause sluggishness, bloating, headaches, weight gain and tummy issues which in turn can cause feelings of sickness and depression.
Try to eat as healthily as possible, exercising whenever possible and getting eight hours of sleep a day will help combat these feelings and help keep the brain function clear and depression free.
While good eating, exercise and sleep can help many, there are others that are in need of more specific treatment. LENS (Low Energy Neurofeedback) can assist with the struggle, helping to calm the brain and allow it to function more clearly; lifting anxiety and depression without the use of medication. By using a small radio wave, LENS is able to help the brain waves work more efficiently, often permanently changing the lives of those suffering with years of depression and anxiety.
A free consultation to see if this treatment is right for you is a phone call away to Harmonized Brain Centers. Isn’t it worth the call?
Call us at 615-331-8762 or visit our website at www.harmonizedbraincenterstn.com
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