Lufkin experts weigh-in on depression during the holiday season

Presents are wrapped, stocking are hung and the Christmas spirit is in the air but manyexperts warn depression can set in during this time of year.

Counselor Dr. Debra Burton says two things come along withthe holiday season… increased stress and increased vulnerability to depression.

"It really magnifiesa time for togetherness, family we just really focus on the media and it justmagnifies that emptiness in your life," said Burton.

Burton adds that no two cases are the same and the holidayscan have a negative effect on anyone.

"People that aresingle or just feeling isolated or going through a divorce, the widows or thewidowers they are going to be especially vulnerable," said Burton.

Burton says she tells her patients Christmas is a time toenjoy family and friends.  She also suggestsgetting involved helping others.

"I think it helps toget involved it might be getting involved with helping another person in achurch activity just a sense of being a part of the community," said Burton.

Pastor Dwyane Calvert says he's seen holiday depressionfirst hand in members of his congregation…

"Some people starttrying to remember things they had when they had the good days and they getdepressed thinking my days aren't as good as they used to be," said Calvert.

Calvert says something as simple as a smile can brightensomeone's mood.

He also encourages you to starta holiday tradition.

"We watch scroogeevery year no matter how many years go by," said Calvert.

He says it's also a time to lookforward to making positive changes.

"Christmas comesChristmas goes but then a new year starts so its something fresh and new," saidCalvert.

Experts say that social isolation plays a major role inholiday depression. They suggestvolunteering in the community is a good way to lift spirits and broadenfriendships.

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