LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT)- The holidays can be an especially difficult time of year for those who suffer from depression.
What’s typically thought of as a joyous time of year can be especially hard on some folks.
We talked to two counselors from Our Lady of Peace in Lexington who said there are certain triggers for seasonal depression around the holidays.
“People remembering those who may have passed this time of year, also there’s a lot of stress, getting ready for the holidays, getting family together,” said Jessica Campbell, with Our Lady of Peace. “There are high expectations and there’s a lot of financial stress and I think it’s the time change. It just all comes together.”
According to OLOP, 24 percent of Kentuckians suffer from depression and 70 percent of that includes women.
181,000 people in the state suffer some form of mental illness in general.
Mental illness spans many diagnoses such as clinical depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxiety.
These conditions don’t discriminate according to Lora Magness, an assessment clinician with Our Lady of Peace:
“I think a lot of times people get confused and they think it’s going to affect one population,” she said. “But, it does affect all populations.”
Seasonal Affective Disorder, known as SAD, is sparked by a change in the season.
Winter brings with it less sunlight and that produces changes in brain activity.
Some signs of depression, according to OLOP:
“Sleep, increased or decreased, crying spells, just a general feeling of worthlessness, thoughts of sadness that they just can’t shake.”
While there are many forms of treatment for depression, both counselors we talked to said exercise works wonders for mental health.