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During the holidays, depression occurs a lot. The holidays are seen as a period of joy, but this is not so for everyone. Depression has thus a high prevalence during Christmas and New Year’s. To help you to create a plan of action, the following questions are answered in this article:

  • What are the symptoms of depression?
  • What are the criteria for a diagnosis ‘depression’?
  • How do I treat depression?

Depression during the holidays? The symptoms of depression?

To treat or be able to recognize depression during the holidays as early on as possible, it is useful to know about the following symptoms:

  • Unhappy or somber mood
  • Lack of interest
  • Often a sleeping feeling
  • Feeling agitated or weak
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Extreme feeling of worthlessness
  • Feelings of guilt.
  • Lessened thinking and focusing abilities
  • Digestive issues and/or other physical issues
  • Changes in weight

Depression during the holidays? What are the criteria for a diagnosis ‘depression’?

Just like in a normal depression, there are certain conditions bound to considering something to be a depression during the holidays. The DSM-IV uses the following criteria:

  • At least 5 symptoms must be present.
  • Symptoms are present for more than 2 weeks.
  • Symptoms cause significant suffering.
  • Symptoms are not caused by addiction or grief.

Depression during the holidays? How do I treat depression?

If you have a depression during the holidays, it might be more difficult to get started with treating it right away. Certain instances are namely closed more frequently during the holidays. That is why it is useful to take note of the symptoms early on, so that you can treat your depression during the holidays, too.
A possible treatment of depression contains antidepressants. Antidepressants have proven themselves to be effective treatment for major depressions and hereditary types of depression.
Another type is cognitive behavioral therapy. This therapy can be followed with a psychiatrist, psychologist, or at the hand of an online self-help program. The program by 15 Minutes for Me is based on therapeutic techniques and helps depression reduce by 40% after one month (research in Artsenkrant, 2011).

Depression during the holidays? Take the depression test!

Would you like to know if depression has a possible influence on your holiday joy? Then take the free depression test here!

Start your self-test now »