Many individuals struggling with depression see an increase in symptoms during the holiday season due to many factors including less sunlight, shorter days, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and increased stress financially, with family and lack of time. Other factors such as grief and loss can contribute as well.
“It’s important to seek support through friends, therapy, a support group – whatever keeps an individual from being and feeling alone,” said Cindy Cole, LMFT, LPC, director of individual and family therapy at Timberline Knolls, a residential treatment center in the Chicago area. “It’s important to plan for the holidays in ways that will be the healthiest. Ask for what’s needed in advance and don’t feel obligated to say ‘yes’ to every invitation or event. Keep doing the things that work during the rest of the year, like committing to routines such as sleep, healthy eating, exercise, therapy and attending church.”
If someone struggling has fractured family relationships, individuals can look for a “family of choice,” through friends, sponsors and neighbors. It’s important not to try and force familial relationships just because it’s the holidays. For some individuals, traveling to a different location to remove themselves from triggering situations can be helpful. Others keep busy through volunteering or spending time with people who are supportive and safe.
“You don’t need to feel alone in the struggle of depression,” adds Cole. “Know that many individuals experience depression and there is help and support available. Don’t be too busy to take care of yourself. Choosing activities because you want to is more important than feeling a sense of pressure or obligation. Most importantly, it’s time to speak up and get the help needed if depression is causing you to isolate, miss school, work or engage in harmful behaviors.”
About Timberline Knolls:
Timberline Knolls is a leading private residential treatment center for women and adolescent girls (ages 12 – 65+) with eating disorders, substance abuse, trauma, mood and co-occurring disorders. Located in suburban Chicago, residents receive excellent clinical care from a highly trained professional staff on a picturesque 43-acre wooded campus. An adult partial hospitalization program is also available on campus for step down as well as in Orland Park, Ill., for women to direct admit. For more information on Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, call us at 877.257.9611. We are also on Facebook – Timberline Knolls, LinkedIn – Timberline Knolls and Twitter – @TimberlineToday.
SOURCE Timberline Knolls