The holidays are upon us. Time for family, friends, and good cheer. Joy to the world, and all of that.
But what if it’s not?
We don’t talk about it a whole lot, but this time of year isn’t a happy time for everyone – people who are mourning the loss of a loved one, for example, or those who are separated or estranged from family. The holidays can exacerbate symptoms for those who are already prone to depression, and they can even cause feelings of sadness or loneliness in those who are generally pretty content.
The “holiday blues” are real and shouldn’t be ignored.
First, how do you know if you or a loved one is experiencing them? Common signs include:
- trouble sleeping
- excessive drinking
- overeating or binge eating
So you’re feeling blue. Now what?
It’s important to remember that feeling “blue” is not the same thing as feeling depressed. Your holiday blues will pass with time. Your depression won’t. If you find yourself feeling hopeless, losing interest in things you once enjoyed, withdrawing from other people, or thinking about suicide or dying – PLEASE see your physician right away. There is no shame in seeking help. Did you know that about 16% of adults will experience depression at some point in their lives? (source) You are far from being alone (even though it might feel that way).
Here are some other resources that you may find helpful:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (available 24/7)
- To Write Love On Her Arms: Text TWLOHA to 741-741 to reach the Crisis Text Line (available 24/7)
- NAMI HelpLine: 1-800-950-6264 (available Monday through Friday, 10 am–6 pm, ET) or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Boys Town National Hotline: 1-800-448-3000: (available 24/7) offers help for at risk children, teens, and their families
Wishing you light & love this holiday season – from my heart & home to yours.