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Holiday Unhappiness: Understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder and Depression

seasonal affective disorder holiday depression

The holiday season is a time for festive décor, food, family and fun. But wet, wintry weather and earlier sunsets during the holidays can cause some people to feel blue.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, depression is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Depression, which is also treatable, affects an estimated one in 15 adults in a given year.

Seasonal affective disorder, a form of depression, is a mood disorder triggered by the seasons of the year, in most cases, beginning in the fall or winter and ending in spring.

  • In addition to weather changes, stress, fatigue and loneliness can trigger depression during the holiday season.
  • It’s common for some people to feel sad during the holidays, but if the feeling continues after, it may mean something more serious.
  • Symptoms of depression typically occur together in a cluster for a minimum of two weeks and can cause functional impairment.

To speak with a Via Christi behavioral health professional, about triggers of mood disorders, signs and symptoms of depression during the holidays and treatment options, we can help you find the care you need, when and where you need it.

About Michelle Kennedy

Michelle Kennedy is the Senior Marketing Specialist for Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan, Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg and Wamego Health Center. She is a proud wife and mom and loves cooking, camping and spending time outdoors, her dogs and reading.