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House Call: Health Smart Holidays — Addressing Holiday Depression

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During the holiday season, cases of depression often increase or intensify due to several factors. Holiday depression is most commonly seen in the elderly.

Feelings of loneliness often increase in those who are not close to family or have lost family members; this is especially seen in women. Also, financial stress, especially in this economy and during this time of year, also serves as a risk factor for depression; this is especially seen in men.

Fortunately there are steps we can take to avoid letting what may be a case of the blues develop into something more serious, such as depression, this holiday season. Try to get more involved in community groups, such as church or non-profit organizations. Moderate or abstain from the use of alcohol or other substances.

If you or someone you know has experienced a combination of noticeable changes in appetite, sleep patterns, energy level, concentration, levels of guilt and feelings of laziness for more than two weeks, it is important to seek the help of a behavioral healthcare professional. Cone Health Behavioral Health Services has an exceptional team of therapists,psychiatrists, physician assistants, nurses and other behavioral healthcare professionals dedicated to treating individuals suffering with depression and helping them recover.

Spokesperson Background:

Dr. Shamsher Ahluwalia is a psychiatrist at Cone Health Behavioral Health Hospital, specializing in treating depression.

He earned his MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Science) at Punjab University in India. He completed his residency in psychiatry at Suny Downstate Medical Center in 2008 and completed a fellowship in child psychiatry at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in 2010.