Counselor: Events like Candyland can help with seasonal depression

Published 12:54 am Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Christmas in Candyland could be the perfect antidote for seasonal affective disorder, Ruth Racz of the South Central Alabama Mental Health Center, said

SAD is a type of depression that is related to changes in the season, sometimes occurring during the holidays.

“At this time of year a lot of people may be alone during the holidays,” Racz said. “They may be coming up on an anniversary of when they lost a loved one, or their kids have left for college and they are alone. Whatever the case is, seasonal affective disorder is a real thing.”

Racz said that the number one thing to do to cope with SAD is to remember the things that bring one joy.

“I always tell my patients to remember the things that bring them joy,” Racz said. “Maybe light some candles of a scent that brings you back to a time where you were happy. Exercise is also another thing that works wonders. I actually love to look at Christmas lights during the holidays, so that could be something. Candyland is here and could actually help as well. You could go to Candyland and watch other people running around and having fun.”

When the holidays come around the corner, Racz usually sees an increase in sadness in her patients, but she tries to find ways to occupy their time.

“Seasonal affective disorder is a tricky thing,” Racz said. “When we treat patients with this disorder, we have to look at a lot of their background. If they are really having a hard time with it, then we will recommend bumping up their therapy a little bit during this season, just so they can have someone to talk to.”

Racz said that weather also has an affect on people’s moods during the fall and winter seasons.

“Weather plays a big role on people’s moods,” Racz said. “Some people hate the cold and the rainy weather can also be a downer for people.”