Mental Health Help

It may seem counterintuitive, what with all the holiday hustle and bustle, but December can be a very cold, very dark month.

While the holidays are certainly a bright and cheery time for many people, for others — those who’ve suffered a particularly painful loss — this time of year can be depressing. The effects of dealing with such losses can be compounded by seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression related to changes in the seasons. The days are shorter, the nights are longer and colder weather often keeps us inside.

To those who are battling this issue, know that it’s OK to feel the way you do. The struggle is real, and your strength is commendable. Also know that help is available.

To ward off seasonal affective disorder, the Mayo Clinic suggests trying light therapy, medications or psychotherapy.

“Don’t brush off that yearly feeling as simply a case of the ‘winter blues’ or a seasonal funk that you have to tough out on your own. Take steps to keep your mood and motivation steady throughout the year,” the clinic states on its website.

In moments of crisis, help is available. If a friend or family is unavailable, there is a crisis hotline for residents of Delta and Lamar counties at 877-466-0660. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available at 800-273-8255.

Remember: Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, and just as you would turn to a doctor to treat a heart condition, turn to a professional to treat your mind.

Help is available if and when you need it.

Klark Byrd

The Paris News Editorial Board publishes editorials on topics of local relevance every Wednesday and Sunday.

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