Depression and the Holidays; the Top Three Cues We Miss
Founder of nation’s leading depression clinic explains why depression spikes during the holidays
SEATTLE, Dec. 10, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ — The World Health Organization says Depression will be the number one disease in the World by 2020. Depression and the holidays often go hand-in-hand. Cold, dark months give way to eating binges and a nagging sense that our relationships or finances are not all that we’d like them to be.
The winter holidays are a grim reminder of what is, or what could have been, or of our disconnection from family. While holiday advertisements show happy families eating around ornately decorated tables the truth for millions of people is just the opposite; a lonely stressful time when the darkness of depression envelopes them like a blanket.
Dr. Gregg Jantz is a therapist who specializes in both depressive and eating disorders — twin culprits that are often closely linked. He is the author of Turning Your Down into Up: A Realistic Plan for Healing from Depression (www.aplaceofhope.com). He says depression boils down to a lack of hope. The triggers can be anything from broken relationships to
financial struggles, lack of work, shorter days, or lack of exercise.
“Depression interferes with the ability to make decisions, concentrate, focus, or remember things,” explains Jantz. Further, it shows up as sadness or anxiety and often promotes feelings of guilt, shame, and hopelessness. For Christians, depression can feel like a weakness or lack of trust in God. Women also suffer from depression at higher rates than do men but for both sexes depression is on the rise.
Like any other illness, depression unhinges families, steals joy, and otherwise keeps us from enjoying the positive aspects of life. “Purpose gives you the drive to keep going,” explains Jantz. “You need to create a purpose, plan, and mission for your life.” The holidays are simply a catalyst for what’s beneath the surface, a lingering sense that things are not as we’d like them to be.
To break the patterns of depression and live a life of hope, Jantz suggests we remember this simple truth: “A lack of purpose causes a lack of passion. Passion is what energizes your spirit, and purpose gives you personal meaning.”
- 8 holiday mood-boosting foods (alternativedepressiontreatments.wordpress.com)
- Slowdown of emotional recovery could be a warning sign for depression (medicalxpress.com)
- How You Can Beat the Holiday Blues This Season (naturalhealthyconcepts.com)
- Generations program tackles depression in older adults (kvue.com)