Your Health: Managing Depression During the Holidays
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Christmas time is a busy time of year, and that often puts that much more pressure on everyone.
For most people the holiday season is a stressful time, but for those battling depression and anxiety, this time of year can be even more demanding.
"It can be tough for families," he says, "and sometimes for people struggling with mental illness, families can bring out some stress in people."
Cooke says with more time together, you may begin to notice changes in people's mood and behavior.
"Especially if someone has lost a loved one, the holidays can be an especially hard time," Cooke says, "they're used to spending the holidays with that person, or spouse, now not having that person can be particularly sad."
Stress and sadness are a part of life, so how do you know when someone's hit more than just a rough patch?
"If an individual is particularly sad all the time, changing their schedules or appetite, just not functioning like they used to be," Cooke says.
If you know someone who may be struggling, Cooke says it's important to reach out and offer support.
"Ask the person how they're doing, don't just assume they're OK, that it's the holidays and everyone's happy," he says.
Other than seeing a doctor, maintaing a good diet, sleep, and exercise will also help manage anxiety.
For immediate help, you can also contact the Alachua County Crisis Center, (352) 264-6789 or one of the following numbers:
National Suicide Hotline
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
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