Holiday Blues and Seasonal Affective Disorders

The holiday season is here. It's a time when family and friends gather to celebrate time together.

Yet for many, the holiday season can bring added anxiety, stress, depression and challenges with substance abuse.

Many people experience what are known as the “Holiday Blues,” sometimes associated with seasonal affective disorders.

Dr. Zobeida Diaz with Aurora Behavioral Health Services was a special live guest Monday on the CBS 58 News at 4:30 p.m.

"There are different degrees," she explained to feeling down during the holiday time. "Winter blues is a mild form of seasonal affective disorder that extends from mid November through the rest of the winter, which in Wisconsin can be a long time."

Red flags to watch out for include:

Isolating from others

Not engaging in activities that in the past the person has enjoyed

Drinking more

Low energy

Expressing lack of hope, guilt or suicide.

"It depends on what they were like before it started. Somebody who knows them well will be able to detect this."

The doctor say trying to brush it off or telling someone who is down to just snap out of it is not helpful.

"Ask them what's going on. Talk about how you've noticed they won't come out. Start the conversation. Be a good ear and listen."

Dr. Diaz says you could also encourage the person to talk to someone at church, school or their primary care physician.

Exercise and getting outside is important.

"Get a little bit of sunshine." 

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