According to Frances Prescilla Cuevas, chief health program officer of the DOH’s National Mental Health Program, special events like Christmas could trigger a “temporary feeling of anxiety or sadness,” especially among those who have mental conditions like depression.
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DOH warns of ‘holiday blues’ during merry season
(The Philippine Star) - December 7, 2019 - 12:00am

DAGUPAN City , Philippines —  Christmas is a time to be merry for many people, but there are some who experience the “holiday blues,” the Department of Health (DOH) said here yesterday.

According to Frances Prescilla Cuevas, chief health program officer of the DOH’s National Mental Health Program, special events like Christmas could trigger a “temporary feeling of anxiety or sadness,” especially among those who have mental conditions like depression. 

“When we talk of holiday blues, it can be experienced by those who have problem with mental health but only temporarily. For those who have depression, this is more likely to occur,” she noted during the DOH Media Forum.

Cuevas added those who have been clinically diagnosed to suffer from depression should be assisted when they are having holiday blues to prevent it from leading into more serious complications like suicide.

She claimed that there are reports that more suicide cases occur during Yuletide than at any other time of the year. However, this can be prevented by having a strong support system from the family and friends. 

“Families should support each other. They should not be the cause of why others look at themselves lowly,” she said. 

Among triggers of the holiday blues during Christmas are the stress caused by traffic jams, lack of money to buy gifts, isolation and being away from loved ones.?But in many cases, a person can experience self-induced holiday depression.

“You should be able to celebrate Christmas. You have to be realistic of what you can and cannot do and do not burden yourself with a lot of expectations,” she said.

Cuevas added that people should know if a person who has been clinically diagnosed with depression has been feeling low, with poor self esteem, social withdrawal and he is not himself. 

She maintained that by knowing the tell-tale signs, people can immediately respond to help those having an attack of depression.

DOH FRANCES PRESCILLA CUEVAS
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