The Doctor Is In: Beating the Holiday Blues

Content is provided and sponsored by Henry Ford Health System. 

Dr. Rena Daiza, Family Medicine Henry Ford Health System

December is supposed to be a time of joy and peace, but if you're struggling with sadness or depression, the holidays can be far from happy.  Financial stress, serious illness and grieving the loss of someone are all factors that can make this time of year challenging.  While there are some indications that people can get the holiday blues, it's not a diagnosed mental illness. The difference is the duration and how it affects your life.
Very common this time of year is seasonal affective disorder, or SAD.

Front-line medical experts need to keep their eyes and ears open for those who, for instance, may come in for a sore throat or possible broken finger but are showing signs of SAD, mood disorder, anxiety or depression.   Dr. Rena Daiza recently saw a patient who came in for a sore back. It turns out it was much deeper than that.  Dr. Daiza was able to determine her mother's recent death was more of an issue that needed to be addressed.

The goal of any treatment is to build up the natural hormones and chemicals in the body to increase feelings of wellness.
Prescriptions do this with medicine.  Some doctors, like Dr. Daiza, like to see patients take natural steps to increase naturally released chemicals in the body to enhance mood.  

Light: Get outside! Bundle up, even in winter. Or sit in a sunny window for a period of time. Natural light is best.

Hobbies or activities: do things that make you feel good, which, again, helps your body naturally release feel-good chemicals. And do things with people.

Diet: fruits, vegetables, things that naturally help you feel better, less bloated (like carbs, which people tend to overeat, especially if they're depressed)

Exercise: this naturally helps your body release feel-good chemicals in your brain. And it doesn't have to be a half-marathon or 100-pound weights.

Sleep: get enough sleep so your body recharges. Set a schedule. Practice good sleep habits.

If these things don't work, your doctor can help you follow up with Behavioral Health for therapy, more intense prescription management or treatment, like cognitive behavioral therapy. 

If you or someone you know is suicidal:
Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK
Text HOME to 741741
For friends who might be concerned, submit tips 24/7 using the OK2SAY mobile app, online, email or texting.

Dr. Daiza will start seeing patients at the new Henry Ford Medical Center opening this December in Bloomfield Township on Telegraph Rd. just north of Square Lake and Costco.
The center offers:
Family Medicine
Internal Medicine
Women's Health
Optometry (OptimEyes)
Walk-In Clinic