Are you finding that it’s more than the cold weather keeping you in the house and away from the parties or other social activities? The holiday season can have an interesting effect on people that’s counter to what you might think.

Dr. Monica O’Neal, a Boston-based psychologist and faculty member at Harvard Medical School, says the end of the year is a common time for feelings that could signal depression. Perhaps you feel lonely or more emotional than usual, or your friends have been asking if you’re feeling alright. On Thursday, Dec. 12, Dr. O’Neal chatted with Boston.com readers about an important and often neglected side of wellness: depression. She answered readers’ questions and gave advice for working through these feelings.

Please note that Dr. O’Neal provided general advice about depression during this chat. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, you should contact 911 or a therapist immediately.

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Dr. O’Neal is a Harvard-trained, licensed clinical psychologist with a diverse clinical background. She has worked with children, adolescents, adults, and geriatric patients, accumulating more than 13 years of direct clinical experience. She currently maintains a private practice in the Back Bay in Boston where she specializes in treating adults with anxiety, depression, body image disorders, trauma, and relationship challenges to name a few. A member of Harvard Medical School’s clinical faculty, Dr. O’Neal previously served four years as a staff psychologist with Harvard University’s Health Services.

Learn more about Dr. O’Neal from her website, or connect with her on Twitter @DrMonicaONeal.

Please note that Dr. O’Neal provides general advice here about depression; you should contact your own doctor for specific questions related to your own treatment.