Preventing depression during the holiday season

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The holidays can be one of the most special times of the year, but it can also bring challenges. 

People might suffer from depression or experience domestic disputes during the holiday season.

A local doctor at Trident Medical Center say though there may not be a rise in the number of people who are feeling depressed people are becoming more aware of it and seeking help.

Psychiatrist at Trident Medical Center, Dr. Yevgeniy Gelfand says he had a patient who lost her grandpa during the holidays. The loss of a loved one can lead to depression. 

"So her Christmas for the future years will not only be coupled with missing the grandpa, but she'll remember that he passed on Christmas Eve," Gelfand said.

During the holiday people might try to do more than they can handle. 

"Sometimes there are a lot of expectations trying to buy presents for people, and make sure everyone has a good time," he said.

Dr. Gelfand says the holiday season can be fertile ground for stress where sadness can lead to depression.

"If you are feeling symptoms trouble sleeping, poor focusing poor appetite and just other symptoms of not thriving not enjoying holidays, it's good to talk to someone and not to stay too isolated," Gelfand said.

He advises people to stay around those who make you feel good and won't bring out unpleasant memories.  It's also best to avoid drugs and alcohol that could lead to greater conflict like domestic violence.

"They are more impulsive and more vulnerable to doing things without thinking about it, then actually resenting them afterward," Gelfand said.

It's important to get your rest, avoid over-committing and eat healthy. If you feel like you might need assistance Trident Health's Lowcountry Transitions provides inpatient and outpatient behavioral health services. Counselors are available all hours of the day.

"Maybe talking to someone and making sense of the current situation can provide them with some suggestions and maybe show them some light at the end of the tunnel," he said. "People do feel better when there's hope."

If feelings of depression worsen you can call 2-1-1 to find resources and get help. There's also a suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE. 

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