Doctors say depression spikes during holidays - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Doctors say depression spikes during holidays

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Posted By: Camila Orti

For many, this can be a cheerful time to spend with friends and family, but the holidays can also leave a lot of people feeling blue.

Doctors say they typically see a spike in depression around this time of year.

"From about the middle of November to the middle of February, we see an increase in patients," Dr. Walt Duffy with Premier Psych in Lincoln said.

Duffy, a psychiatrist, says holiday depression is common for many people.

"Maybe they lost a loved one over the time of Christmas, or just don't have very good memories, or maybe they're away from home and the family and they can't get home," Duffy said.

Financial pressure and cold weather can also get people down. Duffy says the numbers are getting worse.

"Over the last 50 years, it increases every ten years with every generation," Duffy said.

Some doctors say social media could be part of the problem.

"They see other people doing fun things on their Facebook account or on their social media account and they're sort of missing out on things, or they see someone has it maybe a little bit better than I do," Duffy said.

Depression is a disease of the brain, and while some physicians agree therapy and medication are the best treatment, there are things you can do outside the doctor's office to help. Exercising, getting involved in groups, community events, or simply taking some 'me' time are all things that can leave you feeling better.

"It's okay to say, okay I sort of need some break and alone time myself," Duffy said.

Duffy advises holidays are a good time to check in with family members to make sure everyone is happy and healthy.

If you feel like you are depressed and need somebody to talk to immediately, the following local hotlines are available 24/7:

Community Mental Health Center of Lancaster County - 402-441-7940
Centerpointe Crisis Response - 402-475-6695
Nebraska Emergency Crisis Hotline - 800-523-3666

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