Winter Blues

When we hear the word depression we may traditionally think about sadness or having the blues. Depression literally means to “press down” and/ or a feeling of being “pressed down” (Kanter, Busch, Weeks, Landes, 2008). Depression can be a mood or an emotional state and is the most common clinical diagnosis in the United States. Depression affects more than 21 million adults and almost 4 million youth (ages 12-17) every year (mental health america, 2022). That means that over 1 in 10 of our youth are experiencing symptoms of depression that include feeling empty, restless, irritable, difficulty concentration or making decisions, lack of energy or pleasure in activities they once enjoyed, hopeless, worthless and even thoughts of death or suicide. Without interventions, depression can impact one’s ability to function at school, work, at home or in social settings.

In the winter months, depressive symptoms increase due to the “holiday blues” as the holidays can be a lonely and stressful time (NAMI, 2022). So what can we do to encourage healthy habits towards maintaining our mental health as we approach the holiday season?

  • Identify and Express how you are currently feeling
  • Set goals using the SMART method (specific-measurable-attainable-relevant-time)
  • Spend time in nature
  • Practice gratitude
  • Assess sleep and diet routines
  • Schedule an appointment with a mental health provider

Here at Guada Psych, we have a highly-trained staff of clinicians that provide a safe space to explore any challenges you might be having and how to overcome them. And don’t forget, you are not alone! If you or a loved one are experiencing thoughts of suicide, please use the 9-8-8 suicide and crisis lifeline for immediate assistance.

Resources:

Kanter JW, Busch AM, Weeks CE, Landes SJ. The nature of clinical depression: symptoms, syndromes, and behavior analysis. Behav Anal. 2008 Spring;31(1):1-21. doi: 10.1007/BF03392158. PMID: 22478499; PMCID: PMC2395346.

Mental Health America (2022). Depression. Retrieved from: undefined

National Alliance on Mental Health (2014). Mental Health and the Holiday Blues. Retrieved from:undefined

Bianca, CS.D., Ramona, P.L. & Ioana, M.V. The relationship between coping strategies and life quality in major depressed patients. Egypt J Neurol Psychiatry Neurosurg 58, 110 (2022). undefined

Unützer J, Park M. Strategies to improve the management of depression in primary care. Prim Care. 2012 Jun;39(2):415-31. doi: 10.1016/j.pop.2012.03.010. PMID: 22608874; PMCID: PMC4127627.

Healthline (2022). How to navigate depression: 22 things to try. Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/how-to-fight-depression

University of California (2016). SMART goals: A How to Guide. Retrieved from: undefined