Holiday Depression a Serious Issue For Many

BOUNTIFUL, Utah (ABC4 Utah) - It's supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but for many the holidays and beyond can bring serious sadness and depression. Doctors are asking people not to be afraid to ask for help, and note there are several steps people can take to feel better.

Dr. Bryce Peterson of the Ogden Clinic said during this time of year they see a spike in the number of patients suffering from depression. He believes it's made even harder by the fact people feel pressure to feel happy due to the time of year.

"There is a lot about how this is a great time of year, and that's just a bald face lie for a lot of people," said Dr. Peterson.

With the weather change the down mood can often go long past the holidays. Experts note that depression can have big impacts on people's day to day lives.

"You can't get out of bed in the morning because you're just so sad, or you can't take care of your job because you're crying all the time," said Dr. Peterson. "That's when we would say we need to do something."

Thanks to people more willing to seek help and better research there are more ways to treat symptoms.

"Group exercise programs have really been shown to improve depression scores," said Dr. Peterson. "Things like a better sleep schedule, yoga, meditation and mindfulness practice."

Medications are also an option, but Dr. Peterson knows some people are hesitant to try them. He points out about 80-90 percent of people get off the medication once their issues improve.

Talking with someone about your issues can also be a great way to find relief. Dr. Peterson suggest it be a non family member because people tend to not open up as much.

If people are feeling depressed expert note it's important for them to seek help right away. Even if they can't afford it their are clinics and suicide hotlines they can call to get help.


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