Recognizing Signs of Depression During the Holidays

While the winter holidays are a joyful occasion for many, others find them a time filled with depression. You must recognize signs of depression in family members and friends so that you can help them seek appropriate treatment. The number of depressed people may rise acutely this year because of people feeling isolated because of COVID-19.

What Are Some Signs of Depression?

A depressed friend can exhibit many different characteristics, including:

  • Being anxious – Over 50% of depressed people also suffer from anxiety.
  • Feeling sad– While sadness is a normal part of life, those who are just sad can pick up their typical lives while those who are depressed have difficulty doing routine tasks.
  • Making comments about their worthlessness – Feelings of desperation and hopelessness are a common sign of depression, and people who feel this way have the highest suicide risk.
  • Always being fatigued – Fatigue is the second most common symptom seen in people with depression, and it often causes impaired concentration, irritability, and reduced productivity.
  • Acting restless – Extreme restlessness is often a sign of agitated depression. These individuals are also more likely to attempt suicide.
  • Being Irritable – While many people hide their signs of mild depression, people who become irritable often are more severely depressed, and their depression is often harder to treat.
  • Having crying spells – While it is natural for everyone to cry at times, psychologists get concerned about crying if it does not seem to have a trigger or an inappropriate one.
  • Feeling guilty – While almost everyone feels guilty at times, like when they take the last piece of holiday candy, excessive guilt can be a sign of depression, causing physical, mental and emotional problems.
  • Experiencing sleep issues – People who have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night may be suffering from clinical depression. Individuals who experience excessive sleepiness during the day or want to sleep too much can also be depressed.
  • Losing their appetite or overeating – People who are depressed may try eating foods that bring comfort to them, or they may eat whatever is on hand. Others fail to eat enough, and they may prefer to sleep through meals.

What Can You Do About a Friend’s Depression?

If you notice symptoms lasting two or more weeks, you need to suggest that your friend gets treatment. In the Milwaukee area, help them contact American Behavioral Clinics as we operate five clinics conveniently located throughout SE wisconsin.
If the person exhibits any suicidal tendencies or talks about suicide, act immediately by calling 911.