Holiday Depression And Stress (cont.)

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What is the treatment for holiday depression, anxiety, and stress?

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Those suffering from any type of holiday depression or stress may benefit from increased social support during this time of year. For uncomplicated holiday blues, improvement may be found by finding ways to reduce the stresses associated with the holiday, either by limiting commitments and outside activities, making arrangements to share family responsibilities such as gift shopping and meal preparation, agreeing upon financial limits for purchases, or taking extra time to rest and rejuvenate.

Counseling or support groups are another way to relieve some of the burdens of holiday stress or sadness. Knowing that others feel the same way and sharing your thoughts and experiences can help you manage your troubling feelings. Support groups also provide a further layer of social support during this vulnerable time period.

In addition to being an important step in preventing the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, regular exposure to light that is bright, particularly fluorescent lights, significantly improves depression in people with SAD during the fall and winter. Phototherapy is commercially available in the form of light boxes, which are used for approximately 30 minutes daily. The light required must be of sufficient brightness, approximately 25 times as bright as a normal living room light. The light treatment is used daily in the morning and evening for best results.

Visiting other areas of the world that are characterized by more bright light (such as the Caribbean) can also improve the symptoms of SAD.

Antidepressant medications, particularly serotonin selective reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medications, can be an effective treatment for seasonal affective disorder. Examples of SSRIs include fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil), and citalopram (Celexa).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/4/2014

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Holiday Depression and Stress - Symptoms Question: What are your symptoms associated with depression or stress during the holidays? Which holidays do you dread?
Holiday Depression and Stress - Treatment and Coping Question: What types of treatment or coping methods have helped you with your holiday-related depression or stress?
Holiday Depression and Stress - Prevention Question: If you are susceptible to holiday stress or depression, how do you prevent an occurrence? Do you avoid certain activities?
Holiday Depression and Stress - Causes and Triggers Question: Is it a lack of money or the loss of a loved one? What triggers the holidays blues for you?