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Round Rock Hospital Sees High Number of Holiday Depression
Norm Dickason and Wanda Wallace met as residents living at Provident Crossing Communities in Round Rock. They both said their love was instantaneous and that it is important to have loved ones around to spend the holidays with. But the holidays had not always been filled with joy for both of them. Dickason lost his wife a few years ago and said being alone during Christmas was difficult for him
“Some holidays were lonely when you are by yourself,” Dickason said.
The holidays can be hard for everyone. Doctor Tobleman at Scott and White Hospital in Round Rock said up to 20 people a week are visiting the emergency room this year with holiday depression. Tobleman said seven out of 10 people experience some form of “holiday blues.” He said there are several factors that can lead to depression in the winter like weather, high expectations, money woes or just being alone.
“Everybody wants to be perfect. Everybody wants to have that perfect Christmas and that puts a lot of pressure on people. People are experiencing anxiety, depression, suicide attempts, and suicidal idealizations because of all the stress that's associated with the holidays,” Tobleman said.
Tobleman said holiday depression affects people of all ages, but he mostly sees elderly people that do not have a lot of family around.
Rhonda Madi, Team Manager at Provident Crossing said they recognize how difficult the holidays can be for certain residents. She said they focus on a support system for their residents to help them through times when they feel lonely or depressed.
“A lot of our residents have lost their spouses, and they are here feeling very lonely,” Madi said. “We try to build a bond with our residents, along with our other residents, to build a family effect.”
Through that community bond they have helped Dickason find a companion and make the holidays bright and merry once again.
“It’s just like being at home,” Dickason said. “It is home.”
By Cassie Gallo