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The holiday season is normally a time of joy and happiness. However, because of the change in weather and shorter days with less sunlight, for some, this season is accompanied by something known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or “winter depression,” according to a news release from La Clinica de Familia (LCDF).
SAD is a form of depression that happens in late fall and may last through the winter months and into early spring. Marked by low energy and feeling moody, this type of depression is not uncommon as the reduced levels of sunlight interfere with the body’s internal clock, LCDF said.
This reduction in sunlight may also cause a drop in serotonin and melatonin in our body. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health website, some symptoms of SAD may include: social withdrawal, over sleeping, over eating (especially carbohydrates) and subsequent weight gain.
This year, LCDF said, COVID-19 is an added component to the issue of depression and behavioral health and has increased high-risk behaviors.
Jose Valdiviezo, behavioral health services clinical director at LCDF, said the Behavioral Health State Department anticipates a 20 percent increase in behavioral health needs in New Mexico related to COVID-19, in addition to what individuals may already be experiencing.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that during the pandemic, there has been an increase in mental health issues among adults. The CDC reports that from June 24-30, 13.3 percet of adults started or increased substance use to cope with the pandemic, 11 percent seriously considered suicide, 30.9 percent\% experienced anxiety/depression symptoms and 26.3 percent had symptoms of trauma or stressor-related disorder (TSRD) related to the pandemic.
LCDF said Doña Ana County can count on an array of behavioral health specialty services to help manage mental health concerns or needs.
Not only can patients access services at LCDF their locations between Las Cruces and Sunland Park, there is also a 24-hour crisis service hotline patients can call: 1-844-622-7099. Services are available in person and via telemedicine based on the needs and preferences of individuals and families.
LCDF’s regular business office number, 575-647-2800, also is available to those in need of behavioral health services.
Other services provided by LCDF include adult outpatient therapy, children outpatient therapy, assertive community treatment, crisis-intervention services, comprehensive medication management, comprehensive community support, behavior-management services, multi-systemic therapy and sexual-behavior adaptation, psychosocial rehabilitation, treatment foster care, family-based emergency shelter and supportive housing, the release said.
For more information, contact Valdiviezo at 575-640-2419 or email@example.com. Visit www.lcdfnm.org.