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Is it Seasonal Depression or the Holiday Blues?

Is it Seasonal Depression or the Holiday Blues?

The holidays are a time to gather with friends and family and reflect on life’s blessings. However, many dread the holidays as it can present the perfect storm for depression. Not only is winter the time when seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a winter-related mood disorder, rates soar, but the fact that it coincides with the holidays can make the suffering even worse. SAD is directly related to the fewer hours of daylight and less sunlight overall, which can trigger depression.

The Differences Between SAD and Holiday-Related Sadness or Depression

SAD is a mood disorder that is distinct from holiday-related sadness and unease, although there is substantial overlap between each condition. More than half of those who have a diagnosed mental illness say that the holidays make their depression and other symptoms worse. Many find the demands of holiday shopping, socializing at parties, and entertaining guests contributes to their tension. Stress responses like excessive drinking, overeating, and oversleeping only fuel the dreaded combo of seasonal depression and the holidays blues.

You may be suffering from either SAD or holiday depression if you have the following symptoms:

  • Sadness that persists longer than 2 weeks
  • Holiday-related anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Lethargy and fatigue
  • Overindulging on holiday sweets
  • Withdrawing socially

You Don’t Have to Suffer in Silence During the Holidays – Florida Health Care Plans Has Resources to Help

SAD and holiday depression are common, but can also be serious. You may experience difficulty handling your daily activities and find yourself ruminating about the past and worrying about the future but there is help available. Florida Health Care Plans (FHCP) offers behavioral health services that address mental conditions like depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and substance abuse.

To speak with a licensed metal health professional, please contact your primary care physician (PCP) or you may schedule a virtual visit with Doctor on Demand.

About Florida Health Care Plans

Florida Health Care Plans serves our community with an extensive list of local health care providers in Flagler, Volusia, Seminole, Brevard, and St. Johns counties. Our healthcare facilities are designed with convenience and comfort in mind, whether you’re visiting your family doctor, getting an X-ray, or utilizing our cost-effective, members only pharmacies.