How to keep the 'blues' from turning into full-on holiday depres - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

How to keep the 'blues' from turning into full-on holiday depression

Any number of past hardships or changes can trigger a bout of depression near the holidays. (Source: WAFF) Any number of past hardships or changes can trigger a bout of depression near the holidays. (Source: WAFF)
DECATUR, AL (WAFF) -

The holidays are meant to be times of great joy and celebration.  

But for some people, it can be a time of depression.  

Clay Turner shows us pictures of children and grandchildren. While he loves being a grandparent, his happiness is tempered by a past history of holiday depression.

"Part of it is disappointment at Christmas time," Turner said.

He says it started in childhood when he either didn't get something he asked about all year, to presents which tore up mere hours later.  

But as he got older, the so-called "triggers" changed.

"The loss of a family member or a friend, and seeing them... the chair, empty," he explained.

There are other triggers, such as financial hardship and others.   

"A child marries and goes off to be with their spouse's family. The traditions that you are accustomed to are evolutionary change," he said.

Symptoms may include irritability, mood changes, sleep changes and more. 

MORE: Is it Seasonal Affective Disorder? | Staying active and social may help

Georgia Coffman is a licensed clinical social worker and therapist. She says if you know a friend or family member going through a bout of the blues, there are some things you can do.

"I think the main thing a person can do for someone who is going through depression is to be there," Coffman said. "Let them know that you're there and if they're going through it let them be in that moment, and if you see that it's getting to a point where they're needing help to have them to address it."  

If that person is you, she says there are some things you can do to try to prevent the depression from getting worse.  

"That could be keeping in touch with loved ones that are far away and treasuring the memories of people who have passed away, incorporating new traditions," she said.

For Clay, the answer is interweaving a personal passion with the holidays.

"I love my Harley  My tree is starting to come to be a Harley Tree. I'd rather not have a tree, but I know my wife would. The neighbors get to see it, the kids... Making it mine," he said.

All in hopes for a healthy holiday season.  

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