Holiday Depression is Real for Some South Carolinians

Dec 13, 2016

Holiday depression is a real phenomenon for some South Carolinians.
Credit Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

Cries of “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Hanukkah” or “Happy New Year” can ring hollow for those afflicted with the phenomenon known as holiday depression.  Psychologist Fred Medway says holidays are so charged with memories that if one experiences, for example, a loss or other unhappy event during the holiday season, it can trigger sad memories in future seasons.   According to University of South Carolina nursing professor Sue Heiney, symptoms of holiday depression can include sleeplessness, change in appetite, sadness and not being able to enjoy anything, even things a person once took pleasure in.  Certain strategies can help ease the situation, however.  Medway suggested doing something proactive, perhaps a charitable act in the name of a lost loved one, and Heiney said a good way to help a friend is just to be there, as presence is strong medicine.