At this time of year, most people are out shopping for those hard to find gifts (for traditions that include gift giving). Braving the traffic, spending money through credit cards, and dealing with all the stresses that the holiday itself brings to everyone. For some people however, the holidays are a very sad time. Many people have lost loved ones during the holidays, some are far away from family, and many others are just isolated from social contact. This makes the enjoyment of such a festive season so difficult for those who experience what many people might call "the holiday blues." It is easy for us to forget those who lack the energy to go outside, or to do the things that involve taking care of themselves - especially when all the music, the magical lights, and shopping frenzy is around you.
People who suffer from depression need support. They need to know that they are not forgotten. Bringing them some food, helping them get to the store, or spending time with them is a great way to include them in the holiday and remind them that people in their life care. If you yourself suffer from depression symptoms during the holidays (or any other time of year), there are a few things you can do to help deal with those feelings:
Depression does not have to cripple you or someone you love, but it can if we allow it. We have to be willing to fight the symptoms of depression, stay connected to those who care about us, and seek out support as needed. The holidays especially can be a difficult time for those have no one in their life to share it with, and that can make depression all that more painful. Remember that there is help for you or your loved one, and all that is required to start receiving that help is request for support.
Shawn Thomas Berthel M.S., is the owner of Life Path Counseling PLLC, and a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor. He lives in University Place, Washington.