Battling Holiday Depression

December 6, 2006 - Posted at 5:11 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR -- The holiday season is a time for joy and celebration for many, but for others, it can be a period of sadness and despair.  Remembering lost loved ones, colder temperatures and shorter days can impact the psyche and well-being of those suffering from depression.

"I think all of it combined, plus the after Christmas, post Christmas depression is normal.  The depression only becomes a problem when it starts interfering with your daily function over long extended part of time," said psychotherapist Tom Burton.

Depression will strike 62 million Americans at some point in their lives... some of them will seek treatment through talk therapy, others will opt for anti-depressants.

"If you've got your medication, there should not be a tendency to increase it during the holidays.  This is transitory, if you are on a prescribed medication, take it as the doctor directs. If it is not working, then call your physician and see what he recommends," said Burton.

Don't increase medications on your own and be sure to take time for yourself.

"Be gentle with yourself, have a governor on your feelings.  Don't let your feelings overwhelm you. If they do, that's when you need to talk to somebody about that," said Burton.

A "Special Moments" meeting will be held Thursday, December 7 th from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the St. Bernards Auditorium for people who have lost relatives or loved ones.  The ceremony is free to the public.