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“Sadness or depression at holiday time can be a reaction to the stresses and demands of the season. In other cases, people may feel depressed around the winter holidays due to a condition known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), sometimes referred to seasonal depression.”

How to overcome seasonal depression in the hospital as a Nurse:

Get help.

This could be psychological or religious. In most hospitals, there is a 24/7 chaplain service. These are professional individuals that provides emotional and spiritual support to any and everyone in the hospital. They are able to refer you to other spiritual personnel and assist in spiritual strengthening. This is so important. Lets think on this. As a nurse, caring for and treating sickly patients during this season can put a toll on you. Adding this pressure to your already personal stresses could cause you to be a harm to yourself and others. The best thing to do is get help. Speak to your manager about taking some time off and get the help that you need in order to care for yourself and others.

Attend the hospital’s celebrations.

Every unit and department celebrate the holidays with the staff. This is the time for potlucks, gift exchanges, and spreading of love and affection. The months of November to January is where everyone gives thanks and appreciation to one another. Since it is at the end of the year, this gives everyone the ability to reflect on the year and look at changes that have happened. Participate! Express your gratitude! Accept the appreciation!

Ways to treat patients with depression:

Get a psych consult. As healthcare professionals, we treat all pre-exisitigng (new and old) diagnoses while the patients are admitted in the hospital. Depression is an additive stressor that could cause the dysfunctions to other parts of the body. With psych, they may be able to get the antidepressant medication that is needed. They will also be evaluated for suicidal thoughts, depression, and other psychological disorders that may not be reported.

Sunlight and Vitamin D. Provide time for the patient to get sunlight or ask for an order of vitamin D as a supplement. Low levels of vitamin D has been linked to causing seasonal depression. If the patient is able to use a wheelchair, allow them at least 10 min to go outside or to an open area with active sunlight with assistance. If the patient is bedridden, open the blinds and turn their bed towards the window. From my experience, this has been beneficial to many patients that are not able to move around in the hospital.

Seasonal depression during the holiday time is seen all over the hospital with staff and patients. Everyone is away from their families and with the help of others, are able to overcome the negative effect of seasonal affective disorder and other mental health issues.

Thank you all of the endless support for the first year of my blog. Happy Holidays and Have a Happy New Year!!!!

XOXO Nurse Bria

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