By VICKY TATIANA ARRIOLA – LPC-A Psychotherapist Resident in Counseling, &
DR. DEBROSIUS – Licensed Clinical Psych
It is that time of year again when the leaves fall, the seasons change, and the holidays descend upon us. Some individuals may experience it as “the most wonderful time of the year,” while others experience what is often called the “holiday blues” or seasonal affective disorder (SAD). In the case of holiday blues, the holiday season can be difficult for those experiencing painful memories, sadness, or loneliness. With the holiday blues, symptoms typically resolve by the end of the holiday season. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a mood disorder that is characterized by a pattern of depressed mood often beginning before the holidays and lasting through March.
Common symptoms include:
- Feelings of sadness or depressed mood
- Excessive consumption of food/alcohol
- Loss of interest, pleasure, or energy
- Change in circadian rhythm –such as sleeping too much
- Fatigue, regardless of sleep
- Isolating or “hibernating”
- A sense of feeling overwhelmed when needing to complete daily tasks.
- Thoughts of suicide or death
Seeking a mental health provider can help diagnose and treat your symptoms. A combination of supportive psychotherapy and medication management can provide you with the best outcome. Therapy can alleviate symptoms and prevent your mental health from worsening by learning adaptive coping skills and identifying thoughts and behaviors that may be contributing to the depressed mood.
If you are concerned about yourself, a family member, or a friend, please seek professional support. At Integrated Psychology Associates of McLean, we have trained mental health providers to work with people of all ages. For more information on our services, please visit www.ipamclean.com or connect with Gretchen, our intake coordinator at 703-288-3300.