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Depression, Anxiety High During Holiday Season

Andrzej Wilusz, 123rf stock photo

A majority of people report having anxiety and depression during the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

Studies show around 64 percent are affected.

Michael Gray is executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Louisville. He says feelings of loneliness, anxiety, tension, depression and fatigue during the holiday season can be related to a number of things.

But most frequently it is attributed to an over-extension of one’s time, energy and resources.

“People tend to be unrealistic in terms of how much they can get done with cooking, cleaning, entertaining people and shopping," said Gray.

Gray says not to hesitate to talk to a healthcare professional or family and friends.

“Don’t be ashamed," said Gray. "These symptoms are caused by brain chemistry. It’s not your fault. Do not hesitate to talk to your healthcare professional and to talk to your family and friends.”

Gray says shopping is of particular concern because people tend to overspend.

He also suggests setting reasonable expectations and maintaining a routine of regular sleep and exercise, while trying to avoid overindulging in alcohol since it worsens symptoms.

Freelance reporter and producer Devin Katayama has joined WFPL News as a general assignment reporter. His hiring is the third addition to the newsroom since March and is part of Louisville Public Media’s strategic plan to fill the growing void in local news.
Ja'Nel Johnson covers community health for WFPL News.
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