Is holiday depression ringing in your New Year? - - Jackson, MS

Is holiday depression ringing in your New Year?


Even though the holidays can be beautiful, they can also trigger bad memories and depression for some people.

"It is a real thing. A real phenomenon," said Dr. David Elkin, a psychologist at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. "I think primarily it's because of the difficulties some individuals face this time of year; interacting with family, or the fact that the people they used to interact with aren't there anymore,"

Dr. Elkin urges people who are depressed to get treatment, but he says do not diagnose yourself.

"There are clinical definitions of depression and just sort of being blue or sad or frustrated with family, that's not depression," said Dr. Elkin.

But what about family members you are not compatible with. Can people choose not to be around those relatives who are Holiday Debby Downers?

"Yes, in fact they ought to," said Dr. Elkin. "But I would encourage them to reach out to other folks they can be with. If being around family is not safe, then find individuals to be with. It's not a good idea to be alone."

Dr. Elkin says there are good medications and behavioral therapies to alleviate depression, but be aware.

"The danger, especially this time of year, people sometimes turn to the other drug of choice, alcohol," added Dr. Elkin. "It's holiday parties and you're going out. Alcohol doesn't seem to mix well with depression."

Do take constructive measures in your life.

"The other piece of advice is get active," said Dr. Elkin. "Even going around the block for a short walk or, walk around the mall."

Dr. Elkin says there is a time and place to try to overcome things in your past, and growing through it.

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