GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - It's the most wonderful time of the year for many, but for others, the holiday season is anything but merry and bright.
Mental health experts say around 14 percent of people experience some form of depression or anxiety around the holidays.The stress of buying gifts and decorations, meeting end of the year goals, or being away from family are just a few of the reasons people feel blue around this time of the year.
"With a combination of all of that in just a short window of four weeks....that can be stressful for individuals who have a lot on their plate," said Jocelyn Gavin-Lane of Premier Professional Counseling Services, LLC.
Gavin-Lane is a mental health specialist who deals with mood disorders. She says holiday depression can affect anyone.
"We just want to make sure that if you are prone to having some type of holiday blues, or holiday depression, that you keep those things under control to make sure that overall, you're feeling good for the holidays," she noted.
Lane says people shouldn't be afraid or ashamed if they don't feel happy for the holidays.
"If you know you have issues around the holiday time, make sure you hand those off. Find someone close to you to let them know, 'Hey, I'm really down during the holiday,'" said Gavin-Lane. "[Let] people know what you need so that they can help you."
For those who aren't suffering from holiday depression, it's important that they check on people who may be. Gavin-Lane suggests getting people out of the house, or inviting them over to spend the holidays with your family are simple things that can be done.
According to the Mayo Clinic, tips to prevent holiday stress and depression include acknowledging feelings, being realistic, planning ahead, and learning to say no.