HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — It's the most wonderful time of the year... Really? Not for everybody.
Holiday depression is real and widespread. More and more people notice now they change at the holidays, physically and emotionally.
Dr. Kristi Sutton of CHI St Vincent in Hot Springs knows the common feelings of those who suffer.
"Under-motivated" Dr. Sutton said. "They're realizing activities that used to make them happy don't anymore."
If you're wondering, yes, a doctor of Internal medicine at a hospital is prepared to deal with this now.
"Depression is a true chemical imbalance," Dr. Sutton said.
Research from centers for Disease Control Lists reveals the primary causes: "Loss of a loved one, or being alone during the holiday season or just so much stress," Dr. Sutton said.
When the reds and greens that surround you leave you blue, reach out.
"Asking for help is not a sign of weakness," Dr. Sutton said. "It's a sign of strength."
Once you do, you've got counseling, support groups and there is Pharma.
"We have excellent medications these days that have good side effects," Sutton said.
Also with good, healthy side effects, volunteering. Dr. Sutton recommends giving of yourself.
"So many ways that we can work together to help patients who are experiencing depression," Dr. Sutton said.
Despite all the activity, if you're down, get treated now.
"It does leave a person open to have a reassurance in the future," Dr. Sutton said.
Doctors share information so quickly and all of them will tell you this: "Be your own best advocate because only you know what is in your heart."
nd look, if you think it's selfish to seek emotional support at a time of heightened demand, listen to the doctor.
"You can't be there for other people if you don't take care of you first," Dr. Sutton said.
Another indication of how widespread holiday depression has become, Medicare has developed a questionnaire that helps screen patients for it.