Mental health symptoms rise during holiday season for some

"We see more mental health symptoms this time of year than any other," said Dr. Dave Miers of Bryan Health. 

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — The holiday season isn’t always a happy time of the year for some people.

“We see more mental health symptoms this time of year than any other,” said Dr. Dave Miers of Bryan Health.

It’s called seasonal affective disorder and it’s a diagnosed type of depression. Miers said it’s brought on by lack of sunlight after daylight savings and he added pressures that come with the holiday season.

“Society is saying this is the time of year we should be getting together with friends and family,” said Dr. Miers. “Sometimes we don’t want to feel like getting together with friends and family.”

Miers says 65 percent those who have mental illness report their symptoms are the worse this time of year. Symptoms include a change in sleeping patterns, loss of appetite or you’re just feeling down.

“If you just don’t have that energy, that motivation,” said Miers. “And that’s impacting your daily routine, that’s a good sign that there’s depression possibly going on with an individual.”

Miers also said to watch out for substance abuse if you’re feeling the blues. The CDC reported last week that the U.S. saw 100,000 overdose deaths from April of 2020 to April of 2021.

Pair that with increased alcohol intake during the holidays, Miers says it’s the perfect storm for trouble. He says it’s important to practice good habits.

“When you are stressed, a lot of times individuals who don’t have the healthy coping skills tend to reach for those unhealthy coping skills,” said Miers.

It also helps to be thankful. Miers said there’s a direct correlation between giving thanks and better mental health.

However, no matter how much treatment, therapy or being thankful you try, Miers said to reach out for help if it’s not working for you.

The the national suicide prevention lifeline is 800-273-8255 while Bryan Health also has a 24-hour mental health center.

Categories: Nebraska News, News