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Depression Triggers continued...

Depression Trigger: Family Strife

While some people enjoy spending time with family, others may find it less than enjoyable. “Family get-togethers can rekindle childhood and child-like ways of interacting with one another,” Saltz says. “Any intense relationship tumult can alter your mood.”

Mood-Boosting Strategy

Just say no! “Make other plans and say, ‘This year, I can’t do it’.” If you are around your family, and feel that relatives are trying to rile you, don’t take the bait, she says. “Walk away.”

Depression Trigger: Holidays

For some, holidays are the loneliest days on the calendar. “Suicides peak during the holidays,” Saltz says.

Mood-Boosting Strategy

Reach out to others so you feel less alone. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter during the holidays. “Don’t have such a high threshold for asking for help,” Saltz says.

Depression Trigger: Winter Blues

If you notice that you begin to feel down each year when winter arrives, and the days grow shorter, it could be seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that occurs during the same season each year.

Mood-Boosting Strategy

 “The good news is that SAD is treatable,” Saltz says. “Medication or light therapy, under a doctor’s direction, can help.” There is more you can do too. “You can also increase natural light by making it a point of doing work near a window – particularly in the morning,” she says. Exercise also helps improve symptoms of SAD. “Aim for 30 minutes of aerobic exercise multiple times a week.”

Depression Trigger: Anniversaries of Loss

Many people may feel depressed on or around the anniversary of a loss, almost as if it just happened or is happening all over again. “These are almost always triggers,” Saltz says.

Mood-Boosting Strategy

“When you know that an anniversary of loss is coming and that you are more likely to feel depressed, try to bolster your connectivity to people who are supportive,” she says. “Honor the anniversary, but don’t isolate yourself.”