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Combatting seasonal depression during the holidays

Posted at 10:32 PM, Dec 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-24 22:32:40-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. — This time of year brings joy to many, but for some, it comes with looming feelings of loneliness and a loss of purpose.

Seasonal depression impacts over three million Americans each year.

Fox 4 spoke to a specialist at Lee Health about the signs to watch out for as we move through this holiday season.

Doctor Paul Simeone at Lee Health has worked with patients suffering from mental illness. He explains what mental health entails.

“The capacity to remain adaptive and flexible in the face of life’s challenges,” said Simeone.

As season’s change giving us fewer daylight hours many begin to feel the effects of seasonal depression.

“Seasonal depression is probably a function both of the diminishing light but also vitamin-D, ” said Doctor Paul Simeone.

He says it’s all about reducing added pressure.

“Its about making sure that your expectations line up with the reality that defines your life, ” said Simeone.

The new year often brings a sense of joy and hope, but be sure to set realistic goals to avoid disappointment.

“To let it go and sort of see 2020 as a new beginning is a good thing, on the other hand people make resolutions that they can’t follow through on,” said Doctor Paul Simeone.

Doctor Simeone says its important to focus less on the negative, and to seek the elements of life that bring you a sense of purpose.

“Reaching out to friends, people that they know in the community, and if they can’t because they’re feeling not feeling up to it, they’re feeling depressed or anxious then to figure out some way that makes meaning for themselves,” said Simeone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of seasonal depression.

Contact The National Alliance on Mental Illness hot-line at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264).