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(INDIANAPOLIS) – Christmas is over, but many people are still on holiday break — and not everyone is happy about it:

The holidays often bring a surge in depression — sometimes from a sense of loss over not being with loved ones, sometimes from sadness when relatives go home again, to financial stress from Christmas shopping. And while Indiana is enjoying unseasonably warm temperatures this week, in most years, the overcast winter skies are another aggravating factor.

IU Health psychiatrist Ryan Harris says the festive atmosphere can actually make matters worse. She says people can get roped into expecting holiday magic, and then feel worse because they don’t feel better.

Harris says the uptick in depression dissipates when schedules get back to normal after New Year’s. But Community Health Network counselor Kimble Richardson says it’s a myth that suicide rates rise over the holidays, he cautions there ius a connection. He says the suicide rate is actually highest in the spring, in part because people still have lingering feelings of depression, but more energy to act on them.

Harris and Richardson both say they counsel patients to do things that bring them joy, whether that’s napping, watching a favorite movie or TV show, or using that time off from work to get chores done. And they remind you not to let any suicidal thoughts fester, but call a suicide hotline, your doctor, or a clergyman.

(Photo: RTV6)