What is Holiday Depression?
Sometimes known as the Holiday Blues, for various reasons it is possible that the holiday season may not bring you joy. Perhaps there is increased anxiety for you around family gatherings. Maybe the change of routine is enough to mess with your sense of calm.
The holiday season can bring many stressors for people. You may find that different holidays may bring about an emotional response for you at certain times of the year. These challenging feelings can be difficult to manage.
For some, living far from loved ones or missing certain people can be hard. All of this is completely understandable. These are reasonable reactions to the things that are happening around you.
But that doesn’t mean that it’s easy or feels comfortable for you. The main thing to remember is that there are treatments available to help you cope with all of these perfectly normal responses.
If you’re wondering if you might have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) it’s important to talk to a mental health clinician. Here is a quick checklist of what to look for.
Symptoms of Seasonal Depression include:
• Sadness or irritability
• Lack of energy
• Problems with concentration or memory
• Sleep disturbances (typically insomnia)
• Changes in appetite or eating patterns
Neurofeedback for Seasonal Depression
Neurofeedback, also known as EEG Biofeedback or Neurotherapy, is a treatment that is beneficial for patients suffering from SAD.
The therapy uses brainwave feedback to help patients train their brains to function in a way that prevents the symptoms of SAD from occurring. During the session, electrodes are placed on a patient’s scalp, and asked to watch a moving graph on a computer screen while concentrating on their mood.
As patients become calmer, the graph becomes more stable. Once the patient is relaxed, they are asked to think about something that makes them feel happy and positive. This process trains the brain to respond to positive thoughts and help deal with negative ones. You may also find this article helpful.
Neurofeedback has been proven effective for treating people with SAD by reducing their symptoms of anxiety and depression. Neurofeedback has been used to treat SAD for many years. During this time, it has been shown to be more effective than light therapy.
Learn more here from Dr. Richard Abbey.
Neurofeedback may be a good choice for patients who have struggled with taking medication or who are wanting to find alternative treatments.
Ways to lift your mood and cope with the holiday blues
Do your best to adopt some new habits before the holidays and colder weather. Try to do something that is active, social, or both. You may like to meet up with a friend on a regular basis to go for a walk.
Perhaps you might like to join a local gym or take a dance class once a week. If you’re struggling for time, even a ten-minute HITT workout each morning could help start off your day in the right direction. And try to get up each morning at the same time and go to bed at a reasonable time too.
Who to talk to when you need help
At the Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic, we are available to chat with you online or over the phone.
Reach out to us to ask what treatment is best for you. We can tailor a plan suited to your needs. Neurofeedback may be an option for you if you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. You may also find this page helpful.