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Holiday blues can be symptom of a serious condition

Posted: December 9, 2011 - 9:36am

While some of us take joy in the winter days as a sign our favorite season is just around the corner, the holidays and the dark, cold winter can bring on depression and feelings of hopelessness for others.

Because of our unique climate and location, Alaskans are at a much higher risk for seasonal depression.

But, it’s no laughing matter — Seasonal Affective Disorder is a debilitating and harmful condition affecting scores of Alaska and Peninsula residents here and now. Perhaps even your neighbors, family members or significant other is struggling to make it through the day, everyday.

Sometimes, it’s hard for someone to admit they are affected and they might not know where to turn.

Often the symptoms aren’t easily recognizable, or could be written off as something else. Or perhaps they feel the stigma that comes with many mental health issues on their shoulders, preventing them from reaching out.

Let’s be clear — it’s not worth going alone. There is help. Reach out.

Here on the Peninsula we do have resources for those in need. As a Cottonwood Health Clinic official said, help is only a call away — 262-3119.

This is also the time when our contingent of local health care officials should make sure their services and staffs are ready and able. We agree with the thought that we can and should be doing more to get information out into the public about seasonal depression. We applaud efforts to do so already in place.

Our community reaches out to those in need in many ways. Let’s make sure we don’t forget those among us who struggle with seasonal depression.

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