How To Deal With Depression & Anxiety Over The Holidays

Podcasts
Posted in Debt Help
Posted by J. Douglas Hoyes, CA, CPA, LIT, CIRP, CBV

depression-anxiety-updatedSubscribe and download at iTunes or using the Stitcher app, or subscribe via our rss feed or download directly, or listen now:

The holidays are known for being a time of happiness and joy. But for those struggling with depression, anxiety or loss, the holidays can be a difficult. I’m joined today by Theresa Karn, Manager of Clinical Services at Carizon Family & Community Services in Kitchener, Ontario.

Attempting to create the perfect holiday experience and living up to expectations set by yourself and others can lead to stress, sadness and even depression. Theresa explains that

we’re saturated with images through televisions and magazines…of perfect couples and perfect families having their perfect holidays. And we all look at that and think, my family isn’t like that. And people who are otherwise fairly satisfied with their lives and content, can end up being really dissatisfied over the holidays measuring themselves against all of these images that are not real to start with.

With the holiday season fast approaching, it’s important to understand what depression is, how to recognize its symptoms and how the holidays can make this struggle even more difficult.

What Is Depression?

To be able to recognize depression and treat it properly, it’s important to understand what the term means. Theresa explains that

depression is not the blues; it’s not feeling down…It’s an extreme and pervasive sadness and a sense of helplessness and hopelessness.

She points out that these feelings will last for some time and that if it lasts for longer than three weeks, it has become pervasive.

The cause for depression is a chemical imbalance and can be triggered by a number of things including:

  • The loss of a loved one;
  • Trauma;
  • Genetics;
  • Hormones;
  • Health problems;
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD); and
  • Illness.

Symptoms Of Depression

Recognizing the symptoms of depression is important for seeking help or helping a family member or friend. Symptoms range from emotional to physical and can include:

  • Long lasting sadness;
  • Increased anger;
  • Difficulty focusing and making decisions;
  • Negative self-image;
  • Fatigue and low energy;
  • Lack of enjoyment in activities you used to enjoy;
  • Change in sleep patterns (insomnia or too much sleep);
  • Developing a dark and cynical sense of humour
  • Withdrawing from family and friends;
  • Physical aches and pains;
  • Extreme irritability;
  • Increased substance abuse;
  • Fixation on the past and on what has gone wrong; and sadly
  • Thoughts of death and suicide

Similar to the stigma about filing bankruptcy or having too much debt, there is also a stigma associated with depression. But like financial difficulty, Theresa points out that the impact of depression is common and far reaching,

worldwide, 120 million people suffer from depression in any given year. And the stats say 1 in 10 will suffer from depression in their lifetime.

Why Is Depression & Anxiety Common Over The Holidays?

Although the holidays are supposed to be a time of joy, it can also be a constant reminder about their unhappiness for those struggling with depression. Theresa tells me that she works with a lot of clients who are having financial difficulties, single parents and newly divorced couples who feel like they can’t provide for their families and give their children what they want. She explains that

there is a higher level of depression and anxiety in December and around the holiday season because there’s so much pressure, there’s time constraints and financial constraints, there’s lots to do for people trying to prepare for the holidays. The commercialization really has increased that pressure I think, for people to overspend.

The holidays can also act as a reminder about the loss of a loved one when

the holiday comes around and there’s that empty chair at the table. You’re trying to recreate the traditions that you’ve always done with those included and all it does is bring up that pain that that person isn’t there.

If you or someone you know is feeling depressed or anxious, it’s important that you seek help. Reach out to family, friends or a counsellor like Theresa. If the holidays cause anxiety because of financial responsibilities or expectations, talk to a professional, like a bankruptcy trustee or credit counsellor who can help you come up with a plan.

Listen to the full podcast for more about:

  • Creating new holiday traditions;
  • How to deal with grief; and
  • Why you should start planning for the holidays early.

Resources Mentioned in The Show:

FULL TRANSCRIPT show #67 with Theresa Karn

depression-anxiety-transcriptDoug Hoyes: It’s the holiday season, a time of happiness of joy, but it can also be a time of stress, anxiety and even depression. We all know the stress of finding the perfect gift and planning the perfect meal and when you combine that with cold weather and less sunshine our anxiety levels often increase at this time of year.

But when does normal holiday stress turn into serious anxiety and depression? That’s what we’re going to discuss today with my guest. So, let’s get started, who are you? Where do you work and what do you do?

Theresa Karn: Hi Doug, I’m Theresa Karn. I’m from Carizon Family & Community Services in Kitchener. And I’m the Manager of Clinical Services, so I oversee 23 counsellors and all of the counselling programs for the individual couple, family counselling at Carizon.

Doug Hoyes: Great, well thanks for being here today, Theresa. So, our listeners are familiar with Carizon because we’ve had Heather Cudmore, who’s the Manager of the Credit Counselling group on the show and in fact she’s going to be on again this month. Tell us other than the credit counselling piece, which we’re obviously very familiar with, what other services does Carizon offer?

Theresa Karn: So, Carizon has a wide range of services from specialized children’s mental health services, education and school based services and community services. So, we offer services for children, adults, families and groups.

Doug Hoyes: So, it’s a very wide ranging, all encompassing services that you offer. So, today I want to narrow in on the area of depression. So, before we get into it, let’s start with some definitions. What exactly is depression? Cause I think people are listening to this and thinking, oh, well yeah, I’m having a bad day and I’m kind of depressed. Well, we all have bad days when the weather is lousy and it’s snowing and your car won’t start. That’s not depression, I assume. Tell me what is.

Theresa Karn: Yeah, definitely. I think depression is a word that’s become over used. And depression is not the blues, it’s not feeling down. It’s not what you’re talking about; it’s an extreme and pervasive sadness and a sense of helplessness and hopelessness. So, how would you know the difference between the blues and depression? I think it’s a matter of length of time, for one thing. If it lasts for more than three weeks I would say, and as I said it’s persuasive; it doesn’t just happen when you have a disturbing interaction or something happens to disappoint you, but it lasts and it lasts.

Doug Hoyes: It lasts and it lasts with you for an extended period of time.

Theresa Karn: Yes.

Doug Hoyes: So, what causes that? Obviously, it’s not the bad weather, I assume, or is it? What are the cause of depression?

Theresa Karn: Well, you know that’s an interesting point because bad weather can contribute. There is something called SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder. And for some people the lack of sunshine can cause depression. But that’s not everybody. It is actually a chemical imbalance in the brain. And it could be triggered by a loss or a trauma, it could also be part of our genetic makeup that we are prone to depression, it could be caused by hormones such as postpartum depression or even health problems, some health problems have depression as a kind of a symptom.

Doug Hoyes: So, there are many different causes. What then are the symptoms? So, you kind of hit on some of them, but walk me through, if I sitting here listening to this today going, yeah I wonder if – I’ve always through well maybe I’m just having a bad day. But now that you mention it maybe it’s a little more serious than that, or maybe I know someone, a friend, a family member, a co-worker what are the symptoms that I should be on the lookout for that would alert me to the potential that that person or myself is suffering from depression?

Theresa Karn: Symptoms would be long lasting sadness, increased anger and we find that for men especially, you may see more anger than sadness because I think for men expressing and admitting to sadness is harder just with the way men are raised.

Doug Hoyes: And when you say anger, are you talking about like flying off the handle, that kind of anger?

Theresa Karn: It could be extreme irritability and just a sense of simmering all the time. Maybe you might notice road rage more often and just feeling like there’s no level of just coping with people and with line ups and with just some of the usual irritations that we go through.

Doug Hoyes: Really ticked off, so that’s interesting. So, the long lasting sadness, but what I would consider a completely different thing, anger, those are both potentially symptoms of depression. What other symptoms are there?

Theresa Karn: Also a difficulty focusing and making decisions, negative self image, you know if you’re constantly telling yourself that you’re a loser, you’re not worth anything, you’re not as good as other people, fatigue and low energy is also a symptom. A lack of enjoyment of activities that you would usually enjoy, so if you notice that there are things that you used to love doing, maybe sports or hobbies or different activities or sexual activities and then suddenly you have no interest anymore.

Doug Hoyes: So, a change, something that used to bring you pleasure, now doesn’t. Something has change, what’s the issue there, okay.

Theresa Karn: Yes. There could be a change in sleep patterns. And it could be two extremes, it could be insomnia or it could be wanting to sleep all the time. A change in eating patterns so you may find that you’re gaining weight or losing weight because of that. Developing a dark and cynical sense of humour, so maybe you or people around you have noticed that your sense of humour has really changed; maybe to the point where it’s making people uncomfortable. Withdrawing from family and friends, just wanting to be alone, isolating yourself, maybe it just feels like too much trouble to be around people. And even physical aches and pains, often people aren’t aware that there are physical symptoms to depression.

Doug Hoyes: So, what would be an example of that, like literally, like when you’ve got the flu and you ache all over, that kind of thing? Or would it be something more specific than that?

Theresa Karn: Yeah, kind of like that, but maybe a little more subtle, but you may have more headaches and just feel achy and not well. And obviously when you are distressed other psychosomatic things will be happening like stomach aches and headaches, that sort of thing because our body does react. Increased substance abuse could be happening because I think people will try to self medicate and, you know, maybe I’ll feel better if I have a drink or if I use this drug.

Doug Hoyes: So, you’re trying to mask the symptoms or treat the symptoms. You don’t realize that’s what you’re doing but – so, you’d be talking about, you know, lots of alcohol consumption and lots of other types of drugs to mask it.

Theresa Karn: Yeah and the difficulty with that is you may feel better in the short run, but alcohol is actually a depressant as well. So, it will make things worse in the long run internally but also with relationships. A fixation on the past and what has gone wrong. So, you may find that you’re really thinking a lot about I failed here, I failed there, I messed this up, and really not looking at anything that was positive but really focusing on the negative.

Doug Hoyes: When you go through that list, a lot of things are internal, then.

Theresa Karn: Uh huh.

Doug Hoyes: And that’s really what we’re talking about here. You can be depressed regardless of what’s going on around you.

Theresa Karn: Absolutely. And it’s the opposite of rose coloured glasses. You see the negative, you see what’s wrong, you’re not noticing what’s good anymore. And the last one which is the most serious and concerning is thoughts of death and suicide. Depression can be – can lead to death and that’s the frightening reality of it, that’s it’s not something to ignore.

Doug Hoyes: So, there are many different levels, then. It’s not a one or a zero, an A and a B. There are people with increasing levels of severity of it. So, how common is this? Is depression very rare? Is it very common? Give me a sense of the scope of the problem here.

Theresa Karn: Depression is much more common than people realize. Worldwide, 120 million people suffer from depression in any given year. And the stats say one in 10 still suffer depression at some point in their lifetime. The stats also say that women have roughly twice the rate of depression of men. But I would question if that stat reflects the fact that women feel a little more comfortable to go and ask for help. So, their rates are recorded, whereas for men, it’s tough overall I think to ask for help and say I’m not doing well and to admit or even recognize it as depression if it’s not as much crying as it is anger.

Doug Hoyes: Right, which is what you alluded to earlier when we were talking about the symptoms, so, I assume then that there is still a stigma attached to this.

Theresa Karn: There is, absolutely, and it is decreasing thankfully. But I think over the years historically there’s been a lot of anger and fear about depression and the belief that depression was about weakness and, you know, even in some instances that mental illness was about demon possession and things like that. So, there has been huge stigma and it is coming down, but it holds people back because some of us have absorbed those beliefs about depression, so it’s tough to admit that’s how I’m feeling.

Doug Hoyes: So, it’s unlikely you’re demon possessed is what we’re saying here.

Theresa Karn: Exactly.

Doug Hoyes: When you talk about this, I’m thinking you know, what you’re saying is very similar to what I see in my world, dealing with people with serious debt problems. You said that one in ten people are going to suffer from depression at some point in their lives. Well, that’s very close to the stat of the number of people who end up having to file a bankruptcy or consumer proposal. I don’t think they’re the same people, but it’s obviously the same percentage of the population.

And there is certainly a stigma associated with debt problems as well. And I think the stigma is because it’s one in one people who suffered from these things. If it was nine of ten there would be no stigma ’cause we would all suffer from it. There’s no stigma attached to getting a cold. We all get that, we get one a year, it’s not a big deal. But because this is something that affects a smaller component of the population there’s still a stigma associated with it.

Now we’re in the holiday season, am I correct in assuming as I said in the introduction that depression and anxiety are more pronounced at this time of year?

Theresa Karn: Absolutely. I noticed in your introduction that you talked about the time of joy, and wow, if you’re feeling depressed what a weight that is to feel like you’re expected to be joyful in December. So, there is a higher level of depression and anxiety in December and around the holiday season because there’s so much pressure, there’s time constraints and financial constraints, there’s a lot to do for people trying to prepare for the holidays. And the commercialization really has increased that pressure I think for people to overspend. I have grandchildren and already the ads have started on TV. This is the toy that every kid needs under the tree, right?

Doug Hoyes: Yeah the ads start in September or they start in the summer and they just go continually. I mean when I think of Christmas, the holiday season, I think of the Normal Rockwell paintings of everyone sitting by the Christmas tree and tobogganing the fresh snow covered hills and things like that. But that’s not really an accurate picture for a lot of people.

Theresa Karn: It’s not, and you know, it’s interesting. A couple of years ago I read an article about Normal Rockwell in a magazine and the article said that Normal Rockwell grew up as an only child of a single mom and if you can imagine back in the 40’s and 50’s the stigma even around that, the whole single parent thing was not accepted. The father left the home and abandoned Norman Rockwell.

So, he was a child who grew up with a lot of loneliness, a lot of isolation and probably rejection I would think from other kids. And went on then to be this amazing artist and paint these amazing pictures of the absolute ideal holidays with the big extended family, everybody’s happy and wholesome looking. And I think a lot of us, then, have looked at those pictures and thought that’s what it should look like. That’s what my family should look like at the holidays and that’s the level of joy and connection that we should have. And who measures up to that?

Doug Hoyes: Yeah, nobody. And so what you’re saying then is even those pictures that he’s painting were what he was striving for, but certainly not what he had.

Theresa Karn: Absolutely. And the article went on to say that he suffered depression a lot through his life, he struggled. So, yeah it’s definitely an ideal and we see that all over the place. We’re saturated with images through televisions and magazines and wherever of perfect couples and perfect families having their perfect holidays. And we all look at that and think my family isn’t like that. And people who are otherwise fairly satisfied with their lives, and content, can end up being really dissatisfied over the holidays measuring themselves against all of these images that are not real to start with.

Doug Hoyes: And so what is the implication of that during the holiday season. I mean I assume it’s a big stresser. Are people then reaching out to organizations like yours? Are they going to the emergency room more? What do we see at this time of the year?

Theresa Karn: It’s a really interesting time in the counselling world because as we get towards the holidays we see a lot of distress. I’ve worked with a lot of clients who are poor or single parents, newly divorced, and the distress over I want to be able to give my kids what they want – and what the kids are asking for are more and more expensive all the electronics – and just the distress of feeling a sense of failure that they’re not able to do that.

As we get over the holidays things actually slow down. And that’s something that I saw in the stats as well. There is a belief that suicide rates are high during the holidays and that’s actually not true. Suicide rates actually go down during the holidays. But what they do see in emergency rooms and what we do see more and more is increased anxiety, increased depression and then right after the holidays, suicide rates jump 40%.

Doug Hoyes: Wow, wow. So, that’s when the real danger time is. So, I look forward to the holidays, I get through the holidays and now boom there’s nothing there.

And I mean what you said about the parents, the grandparents trying to give their children the idealized Christmas, that’s often what leads to the debt problems we see in January, February, March, April. And our phones don’t start ringing right away in January, but as the credit card bills come in, you start seeing that February, March and as a result March, April May are very busy months for us. And I think they’re all interrelated; that spending money becomes a supposed cure for depression, but obvious isn’t. Again, it’s like the alcohol and the drugs that you talked about earlier, they’re masking the problem.

So, I would assume the holidays are also a very difficult time if – we alluded to the issue of change. If I’ve lost a spouse during the year, then the holidays become a very difficult time because something significant has changed

Theresa Karn: Holidays are a huge painful trigger when someone is going through grief and loss. And it could be loss of a spouse, a family member, a child or it could be a divorce or separation or a break-up of a relationship. So, then the holiday comes around and there’s that empty chair at the table. You’re trying to recreate the traditions that you’ve always done with those people included and all it does is bring up that pain that that person isn’t there.

Doug Hoyes: We’re going to talk a bit more about what to do, but why don’t we start with that specific example you given, then. So, this person that has been there for my last 20 Christmases, who we used to go tobogganing or watch our favourite movie or whatever is no longer there, what should I be focusing on this holiday season, then?

Theresa Karn: There are things you can do to diminish that, but I think it’s really important to realize you are going to have the highs and the lows during the holidays and to expect that, that the holidays will trigger grief and realize as it comes up, yeah this is normal this is not something to feel ashamed of or disappointed in myself about.

The other things that you can do is you can do something different, come up with new traditions, maybe take a holiday over the holiday season away from home or do something outdoors, do an activity, volunteer. There’s always space for people to volunteer at food banks and places serving people over the holidays who don’t have a home and a holiday meal to go to.

Doug Hoyes: So, by starting some new traditions you lessen the impact of some of the prior ones. We’re going to talk a bit more about the specifics then of what you can do then to help deal with depression in our Let’s Get Started segment, before we do we’re going to take a quick break and we’ll be right back here on Debt Free in 30.

Let’s get Started Segment

Doug Hoyes: It’s time for the Let’s Get Started segment here on Debt Free in 30. My guest today is Theresa Karn, who is the Manager of Clinical Services at Carizon, a large counselling organization in Kitchener, that’s where their head offices is. We’ve been talking about depression, anxiety and in particular how it relates to the holiday season that we’re in now.

I mentioned before the break that financial problems often go hand in hand. And I’ve been to your facility in Kitchener, I know that the credit counselling group, lead by Heather Cudmore and her team, is very close to everybody else in the organization. I assume there are lots of times where you’re each walking someone down the hall because sometimes the debt problems make the depression issues worse and sometimes it’s the other way around. Do you find they do go hand in hand?

Theresa Karn: Absolutely, they do. I’ve dealt with a lot of clients who have been suffering from depression and they’ll talk about their overwhelming debt load and not knowing what to do. Creditors are calling. And it’s great to be able to just walk them down the hall to Heather and to credit counselling and then we can deal with both things at the same time.

Doug Hoyes: Yeah, because you have to treat the cause, not just the symptom.

Theresa Karn: Absolutely.

Doug Hoyes: And so, if as you talked about before the break I’m trying to make Christmas better for my young kids and as a result I rack up a huge amount of debt, Heather can help you deal with the debt, but if you just get back into debt again next holiday season, we kind of haven’t addressed the real problem. So, you’ve got to deal with it.

When someone comes to me with debt problems I always say well the number one thing is you’ve got to get help. I assume the advice is the same when it comes to your field, depression, anxiety and so on?

Theresa Karn: Yeah, it’s really important to get help and not to wait too long. Because when you get to the point of severe depression, you can get to a place where you just can’t make decisions and you can’t take those steps, it feels overwhelming. So, if you are feeling like the symptom list that I mentioned fits you, get help before it gets too deep. It’s easier to treat depression if you start treating it when it’s mild to moderate. If you wait till it’s severe, it’s really hard.

Doug Hoyes: It becomes much more difficult. So, in the show notes I’m going to put a link to your organization, Carizon, you can obviously look it up on the internet, Carizon, sort of like horizon is how I always think about it.

So, in our remaining time let’s talk practically then about what can I do? If I am suffering from depression or if someone I know is, obviously the first step is getting help from a knowledgeable professional. What are some other pieces of advice, practical things you would tell people?

Theresa Karn: Sure. There are lots of things that you can do and I think part of it is planning. As I said, plan that there will be highs and there will be lows in the holiday seasons and have back-up plans so that if you are overwhelmed by grief or depression and you can’t handle something that’s going on, you know what your plan is and how you’re going to make your escape. Don’t let anybody tell you that you shouldn’t feel what you’re feeling. This is the season of joy, what’s wrong with you, any of that kind of thing or you should be over it now. There are no shoulds, feelings are feeling and grief is grief. And it takes as long as it takes. So, don’t feel shame over that.

Doug Hoyes: Everyone’s different.

Theresa Karn: Absolutely, everyone is different. Also be aware that if you are going through grief or you are going through depression, it’s very normal to struggle through the holiday season. So, be aware of it, plan for it and don’t feel ashamed of that.

Doug Hoyes: So it’s almost like I’ve got to have my escape route. If I’m at a holiday event and I’m just not feeling with it, then I shouldn’t feel bad about moving on. Is that what you’re saying?

Theresa Karn: Exactly. It’s not about disappointing the host or disappointing your family, if they’re aware that you are struggling with depression they should understand that maybe you can’t handle a four, five hour party. Maybe being there for half an hour and making an appearance and going is good enough. And it’s okay to say I just can’t handle this right now. Or if it’s a situation like maybe a workplace event and you don’t want to talk about depression there, you could just tell people you’re not feeling well and head out.

Doug Hoyes: Yeah, don’t feel pressure on that. We talked earlier about creating new traditions, particularly when you’re dealing with the loss of a loved one or something. But I assume it’s also important to stick to some kind of routine as well. Sleeping in till 3 o’clock in the afternoon is probably not a good strategy, either. Is there a balancing act there?

Theresa Karn: Absolutely. It’s important to have regular self-care and try to have as much of a normal routine as you can. And that’s an area where I think most people get messed up over the holidays; being up too late, eating the wrong things, not exercising. So, it’s important to try to get to bed at a decent and regular time and have a good night’s sleep, but not sleep hours and hours because you don’t feel like getting up because that just deepens depression as well.

Doug Hoyes: Those are some great pieces of advice and obviously we could talk for a long time about the ways to treat this. Again, I’m going to put lots of notes in the show notes over at hoyes.com with the links to Carizon. Theresa, thanks for being with me.

Theresa Karn: Thank you.

Doug Hoyes: Thank you. We’ll be back to wrap it up. That was the Let’s Get Started segment here on Debt Free in 30.

Doug Hoyes: Welcome back. It’s time for the 30 second recap of what we discussed today. On today’s show Theresa Karn explained that depression is not just the blues or feeling down. Depression is an extreme and pervasive sadness that lasts for more than a few weeks and can be caused by many factors including underlying health problems and illness. She explained the symptoms and gave us many practical strategies for dealing with depression. That’s the 30 recap of what we discussed today.

So, what’s my take on what Theresa had to say? I’m not an expert on depression so I learned a lot from Theresa on today’s show. Depression is a serious problem, affecting one in ten people at some point in their lives, so it’s important that we learn to recognize the symptoms. Long lasting sadness, fatigue and low energy are symptoms but so is increased anger and extreme irritability. Every person is unique, so symptoms can differ. Depression and anxiety increase during the holiday season as we’re saturated with media images of the perfect family.

And I thought it was quite interesting that Theresa said that Norman Rockwell who painted many images of the perfect holiday season was also someone who suffered from depression. So, what can you do? Don’t let anyone tell you how you should or shouldn’t feel. Don’t feel ashamed; it’s normal to struggle with depression and grief. Keep regular eating and sleeping routines, but don’t be afraid to create new traditions. Above all, if you or someone you know is struggling with depression, get help, see your doctor and meet with a trained counsellor. There is hope.

That’s our show for today. Full show notes are available on our website including links to many of the resources provided by Carizon, so please to our website at hoyes.com, that’s h-o-y-e-s.com for more information. Thanks for listening. Until next week I’m Doug Hoyes, that was Debt Free in 30.

Thanks for listening to the radio broadcast segment of Debt Free in 30 where every week your host Doug Hoyes talks to experts about debt, money and personal finance. Please stay tuned for the podcast only bonus content starting now on Debt Free in 30.

Doug Hoyes: It’s time for the podcast only segment here on Debt Free in 30. We ran out of time on our radio only portion of the show talking to Theresa Karn about depression and anxiety and we were talking about specific things you can do. And there’s a few points we didn’t get to, one of them being it’s a good idea to enjoy the outdoors when you’re in a situation like this. Why is that? Why does that help? Is it the change in routine? What’s the rationale there?

Theresa Karn:  There are a couple of reasons, Doug. One is to just get out, breathe the fresh air. The outdoors is so beautiful. If you can get out into the woods, you just get a different view point than sitting in a room, looking at the four walls. But also if the sun is shining, the sun is really good for mood as well, so important to get out into the sun.

And, you know being outdoors is something that you can enjoy and it doesn’t cost any money. You can go for a walk with your kids. A new thing that people are doing is geo-cashing;,it’s a great activity, it doesn’t cost any money. Kids really enjoy it. So, there are things you can do outdoors as a family or as an individual that can help with depression.

Doug Hoyes: Yeah and the ones that don’t cost money, that’s the best kind of all. You’re not going to make worse your debt situation. So, what then is your final piece of advice then to people who are suffering through these issues?

Theresa Karn: Studies show that the best way to treat depression is a combination of medication and counselling together. So, I would suggest that you explore both of those things. It’s important to see your family doctor and talk about how you’re feeling and what has changed. Because, as I said at the beginning of the show, there could be medical conditions that are going on that are causing the depression so that needs to be ruled out as well, and then medication can be very helpful.

And then coming for counselling, reach out, reach out to people who care, reach out to people who are supportive. You may have those people in our life, and then get some professional counselling. Because there are a lot of ways that counselling can help to look at negative thought patterns that are deepening the depression and maybe even look at life’s circumstances that are also contributing to the depression.

Doug Hoyes: And I guess the final point that we hit on from before is that you’re not alone in this.

Theresa Karn: No, absolutely.

Doug Hoyes: Depression is something, based on the statistics you quoted, one in ten people will encounter at some point in their life, so sitting there hoping it will go away, it’s exactly again like dealing with debt problems, they don’t go away on their own in most cases. So, reaching out to friends and family but also reaching out to professionals, doctors, counsellors and so on is very important.

Theresa Karn: Absolutely.

Doug Hoyes: Excellent. I think that’s a great way to end it. Thanks for being here, Theresa.

Theresa Karn: Thank you.

Doug Hoyes:   That was the podcast only bonus segment here on Debt Free in 30. We’ll be back next week with a new episode. Thanks for listening.

Announcer: Thanks for listening to the podcast only bonus segment of Debt Free in 30. For more information on today’s show please go to hoyes.com, that’s h-o-y-e-s-dot-com and type the word podcast into the search box for more information on every episode of Debt Free in 30. Until next week, this was Debt Free in 30.