We’re well into December, and the holidays are just around the corner.
That means that, while millions of Americans are celebrating the joys of the season, still millions more are feeling as depressed as ever. Yes, you read that right. Christmas isn’t merry and bright for everyone, so if you really want to show up for your loved ones this year, it’s important that you be on the lookout for the signs of holiday depression.
Signs of Depression: What to Watch for this Holiday Season
There’s nothing inherent about the holidays that sends mental health conditions into overdrive. Santa isn’t a bringer of bad feelings (unless he leaves coal in your stocking, of course). Rather, it’s just that this is a particularly stressful time of the year, and stress naturally increases the suffering of those who already struggle with depression, anxiety, or other psychiatric conditions.
The combination of family, financial, and spiritual pressure is potent, so if a person already exists in a vulnerable state, it’s likely that this time of year will make things worse. Common depression symptoms that arise around the holidays include:
- A Tendency to Withdraw
Those who suffer from depression may be more withdrawn than usual. You might notice a loved one excuse themselves from the table early, or arrive late to breakfast. They might cancel plans at the last minute, or avoid answering text messages or phone calls.
- Erratic Behavior
Have you noticed a family member display sudden bursts of energy or uncharacteristic spontaneity? Maybe they’re the center of conversation in one moment, and then hidden in a corner the next. Erratic changes in mood are a common sign of fragile mental health, be it now or any other time of the year.
It’s not uncommon for family members to bicker more as the holidays approach. This may be a normal response to the increased pressure of the period, but when it tilts toward something more severe, it’s worth considering whether there is a deeper root cause.
- Uncharacteristic Social Media Usage
Facebook, Instagram, and the ilk of social media platforms can provide reprieve, especially for folks who struggle with discriminatory family dynamics. However, these platforms can also act as a vice. If you notice an abrupt shift in the tone of a family member’s social media activity, it might be a sign to check in with them.
- Reticence to Talk About the Future
Family gatherings often turn to talk about the future, and while not everyone likes being interrogated by Auntie Jane, a refusal to engage with the subject can be a worrying sign.
- Doomsday Rhetoric
Depression is a life-threatening illness. When left untreated, it often leads to self-harm. If you notice a family member expressing the desire to escape, or questioning the value of life, it’s time to take immediate action.
It can be scary to notice depression symptoms in those you love, and this fear often leads to an unproductive response. Frustration, unsolicited advice, or invasive behavior doesn’t help. When someone near and dear is suffering from depression, they need medical attention.
Your primary care physician is your first and best resource, but standard treatment does not always work. In cases of treatment resistant depression (TRD), you might consider ketamine infusion therapy. Thousands across the country have found immediate, lasting relief from this innovative intervention, and you or your loved one might, too. Take on holiday depression and event beyond.
Contact Vitalitas Denver
To learn more, do not hesitate to schedule a free consultation at Vitalitas Denver—a ketamine clinic staffed by a qualified and experienced suite of dedicated medical professionals.