What is Holiday Depression or the Holiday Blues?
Hollywood, department stores, and the songs on the radio all tell us the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year.
However, for some people, the holidays can be a source of profound sadness and depression. People may feel sad during the holidays for a number of reasons. If a loved one has recently died or moved away, their absence for the first time during the holidays can be a significant source of sadness. Other causes of holiday blues include fatigue from over-commitment – buying gifts, baking cookies, and attending parties all take TIME and may cut into one’s sleep.
Alternately, sadness can be caused by a feeling of unrealistic expectations during the holidays. No party or gathering is ever perfect, particularly when family is involved! If there is too much anticipation for the perfect event, which then isn’t perfect, the resulting letdown can lead to a sadness that can develop into depression.
Financial concerns can contribute to holiday depression, too. You may not feel you have enough money to buy the gifts you think you need to buy, or you may feel pressured to buy gifts you cannot afford. Perhaps you think if you can just throw that extravagant party, that just might make you happy.
Some people also experience post-holiday depression – a feeling of letdown that the holidays are over, everyone has gone home, and all that is left is loneliness and a dying Christmas tree.
There is a difference between a period of sadness and actual clinical depression. Depression is a medical disorder that causes a prolonged feeling of sadness, tiredness, and lack of interest. It can cause physical symptoms such [...]
What is Holiday Depression or the Holiday Blues?
Do you suffer from bouts of severe depression? Do you seem to snap out of it for brief periods where you feel energetic, hyper, or even possibly exhilarated? Have you tried anti-depressants without success? Are you feeling there is little to no help out there for you? You may actually be suffering from Bipolar Disorder.
Approximately one in four people who actually have Bipolar Disorder are originally diagnosed with Depression. In many cases, it can take between 10-15 years of seeking professional help before an accurate diagnosis is made. The major difference between the two is that Depression is more of a constant state, where Bipolar Disorder fluctuates between depression and mania. The back and forth between these two stages can happen over a period of days or even weeks.
Those suffering from Bipolar Disorder typically don’t seek help during their manic stages; they are often more productive, although sometimes reckless, and they may appear happy, although the euphoria is a part of the illness.
Symptoms of Bipolar include BOTH Mania and Depression:
During a manic phase, symptoms include:
• heightened sense of self-importance
• exaggerated positive outlook
• significantly decreased need for sleep
• poor appetite and weight loss
• racing speech, flight of ideas, impulsiveness
• ideas that move quickly from one subject to the next
• poor concentration, easy distractibility
• increased activity level
• excessive involvement in pleasurable activities
• poor financial choices, rash spending sprees
• excessive irritability, aggressive behavior
Do I have Bipolar Disorder?
During a depressed phase, symptoms include:
• feelings of sadness or hopelessness
• loss of interest in pleasurable or usual activities
• difficulty sleeping; early-morning awakening
• loss of energy and constant lethargy
• sense of [...]
Jessica is a 48 year old successful corporate executive with a husband and 3 children. She has suffered from sleep disorder since graduate school. She reports having had difficulty falling and staying asleep, as well as waking with terrible nightmares at times. Even though she was successful, she realized how hard she was working at staying focused and mentally alert at work in order to get the most simple tasks accomplished. She had also suffered from anxiety and depression, both of which she attributed to the sleep disorder. Over the years, she tried many different medications, but she did not like the side effects. She tried eating healthy and exercise, which did help some, but not even this helped to the extent that she felt she needed.
After much research, she discovered neurofeedback and began her sessions along with counseling. After 3 months, she realized she was not only sleeping better, but she was much less anxious and depressed. Her husband began attending counseling with her, and they were able to resolve issues she had not been able to even discuss prior to the beginning of treatment. After 8 months, Jessica reports that she is “sleeping like a baby,” and her husband is extremely happy that he finally has “the girl I married” back.
Do I have a Sleep Disorder?
Of course, not every patient who undergoes neurofeedback training notices this drastic of an improvement. However, we do find improved outcomes in approximately 85 to 90 percent of our clients. Consistency in treatment and a positive attitude are important for success.
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Cindy was a mother of two and working full time. She felt her marriage was empty and began to feel as though her life was meaningless. She spent several years working with several different doctors and taking various medications, but she was unable to tolerate the side effects.
She then began with a counselor who suggested neurofeedback. In a short time she was feeling better. Her sleep had improved, and her communications with her husband and children also improved. After 8 months, she is medication and depression free.
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What Does Comorbidity Mean?
The term “comorbidity” describes two or more disorders or illnesses occurring in the same person. They can occur at the same time or one after the other. Comorbidity also suggests connections between the illnesses that can worsen the course of one or both.
Is Drug Addiction Really Classified as a Mental Disorder?
Simply, Yes! Addiction alters brain function in essential ways. The compulsive behaviors that result from these changes weaken the individual’s ability to control impulses, even in the face of negative consequences. This inability to control impulse and response, and the unhealthy behavior patterns that develop in the addict are similar to impulse issues and erratic behaviors noted with other mental disorders.
How Common Are Comorbid Drug Addiction and Other Mental Disorders?
More than 70% of addicts are also diagnosed with other mental disorders and vice versa. In the case of anxiety disorder, addicts often report that the drugs or alcohol originally suppressed their anxiety. Thus, this increased their desire to use. However, because of the connection between substance abuse and brain function, as the dependency on the substance grows in the addict, so do the adverse effects of the substance, thereby exacerbating symptoms of comorbid disorders. Self-medication is a very real issue among addicts. Abuse of prescribed medication, in addition to illicit drugs or alcohol abuse, is a common problem among addicts. Although patients suffering from anxiety or depression may rely on alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs to temporarily alleviate their symptoms, these substances will worsen other disorders in the long run!
How Are These Comorbid Conditions Traditionally Treated?
The high rate of comorbidity between drug use disorders and other mental disorders calls for a comprehensive approach that identifies and evaluates [...]
“Through my continued therapy, counseling, and neurofeedback sessions with Dallas Brain Changers, I have been able to see the walls of depression crumble and have seen my anxiety significantly reduced. Stephanie and Mindy have given me the tools I need to effectively deal with past issues and potential situations that may arise, so I can enjoy a healthy and happy life. I have come to a more secure place in my life, and know I would be welcomed back at any time for help with future issues.”
Susan B, age 32
We want to help you like we helped Susan!
This female client presented with complaints of moderate to severe depression, anxiety, confusion, fear, short-term memory loss, dysarticulation and difficulty concentrating. She was living with Anxiety Disorder. She was struggling to function as the owner/operator of a small consulting firm. After she completed approximately four months of neurofeedback training, she described what she felt as a profound improvement in her symptoms. In counseling sessions, she reported the depression had lifted and her outlook on life was good and one of manageability again. She described her mental alertness and clarity in thinking as being significantly improved.
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This case involved a thirty-seven year old female who complained of depression with periods of poor sleep, some mood fluctuations, extreme irritability, and occasional rages. The woman’s constellation of issues also included near-panic levels of anxiety, non-specific learning deficits (low attending skills, auditory processing difficulties), and general visuo-spatial issues. She was concerned over losing friends because of her inflexibility, and was battling increasing isolation, along with a lack of concentration and motivation. She felt these challenges were negatively impacting her professional performance and threatening her job security.
Do I have Depression?
She was medicated with multiple anti-depressants by her physician and the woman reported these were insufficient.Early into completing some neurofeedback and counseling sessions the woman reported feeling a “little less emotional”, and also noted vivid dreams, but less sleep disruption. Shortly thereafter she reported sleeping through the night consistently for almost a week, and felt she was regaining her sense of humor. As her training continued she reported feeling more relaxed and better able to cope with issues, and was no longer feeling irritable or experiencing panic, even though her work situation continued to be very stressful and demanding. The woman reported enjoying the ability to maintain a “bigger picture perspective”, and described being able to “concentrate and get things accomplished”, to her surprise. In addition, she reported graphomotor improvements, including more legible handwriting; something she felt was due to her ability to be calmer, which was aiding her ability to focus. Toward the end of treatment the woman was able to go for three weeks at a time without treatment and reported feeling significantly more stable then in the past. She had salvaged some nearly-ended relationships with friends, who commented that she seemed [...]