Depression on the rise during holiday season

By Hilary Lane

ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y. (WKTV) - Social workers say rates of depression spike during this time of year.

From the holiday movies, to the lavish decorations, delicious desserts, and the Christmas carols, on the surface, it seems like it is the most wonderful time of year.

However, for some, it is anything but.

Jill Hebert, of Clinton, lost her son 5 years ago. She says this time of the year is always the toughest.

"The empty chair at the table is very hard," said Hebert. "I actually removed it."

For many who have lost loved ones, or who are experiencing any type of stress, loneliness, or sadness, it can seem like the time between Thanksgiving to New Years lasts for an eternity.

"They can be under economic stressors," said Linda Zelows, LCSW-R of Mental Health Connections. "As we know, the economy isn't what it used to be and those stressors coupled with family dynamics, coupled with someone who may have some low grade depression. It can really increase their depression and really make it harder for them to function during this time."

According to experts, the best thing you can do is talk to someone whether it be a friend, a family member, or a licensed professional.

"Don't be like I was," said Hebert. "If you can get involved in a support group, my feeling was there is enough on my mind that I can't think of anyone else's problems but because I did that, I met amazing people who feel the way I do."

Social workers also suggest taking up a hobby this time of year. The idea is to keep your mind and focus somewhere else and only partake in the holiday festivities you feel most comfortable with.

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