Dealing with holiday depression

Published 6:30 pm Thursday, December 25, 2008

Though there is much talk about getting the holiday blues, nobody ever really thinks about the truth behind the words.

There is such a thing as the holiday blues, and more people are starting to discover the side effects of this condition. Chilton-Shelby Mental Health Center Outpatient Coordinator Donna G. Marsh said the condition can be serious if people don’t pay attention to their bodies.

“Everyone can become stressed during the holidays, but if someone becomes stressed to the point of depression then they can be endangering themselves without even knowing it,” Marsh said.

When a person becomes depressed during the holiday season, they can forget to take care of themselves due to the stress of getting everything done. Marsh said that no matter how funny it sounded, one of the most common effects of the holiday blues is becoming dehydrated due to not drinking enough water. A person may be rushing and stressing to make sure they get everything done and find themselves drinking a glass of eggnog to try and relax. If the person has not had enough water in his or her diet, then that one glass of eggnog can be just enough to finish pushing them into a stage of dehydration that can be dangerous.

“To avoid becoming ill do to stress over the holidays, everyone should keep an eye on their own health,” Marsh said. “I know it’s harder at holiday time to keep up with everything, but it would be a good idea to keep a watch so you can enjoy celebrations more.”

To help overcome holiday depression or grief, a person can exercise, invite friends to celebrate with or talk to, change furniture around in their home or even start new holiday traditions.