Healthy Habits: Coping with depression ahead of the holidays

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – The holiday season is known for being a joyous time of celebration, but for many, this might be their first holiday season without a loved one.

COVID is still affecting so many aspects of our lives, including emotional and mental health, which can bring on seasonal depression.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reported that approximately 24% of people with a diagnosed mental illness find that the holidays make their condition “a lot” worse and 40% “somewhat” worse. Dr. Ashley Britton, Clinical Assistant Professor and Psychologist, ECU’s Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine/Vidant Health says it is important to recognize the symptoms and find ways to cope.

She suggests taking time to prioritize self-care and surrounding yourself with loved ones.

If you or a loved one are showing signs of depression, there are resources available, including the Mobile Crisis 24 Hr X 7 Days A Week at 1-866-437-1821 and the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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