When the air gets cooler and the trees start to lose their leaves, the holiday season is never far behind. It is a great time for family, friends, good food, vacations, and enjoying each other’s company. But what happens when you can’t seem to find your holiday spirit?
If your spirit is lacking this season, it could be a sign of something much more important.
Depression doesn’t strike when it is most convenient for you, sometimes there is a reason for it and sometimes there is not. In fact, it is not at all uncommon to develop depression symptoms during the holiday season.
But not all cases of depression are the same and therefore, it is important to know when to reach out to your doctor and discuss what you are experiencing.
Know The Signs of Depression
How do you know when you are displaying symptoms of depression?
One of the largest misconceptions regarding depression is that people who suffer from it are sad all the time and in some cases, may want to commit suicide. What many fail to realize is that depression is much more than that.
Depression is different in that it can creep up on you without you even noticing it. Symptoms that might be described as being in relation to a bad day may continue to linger for multiple days or weeks before you even realize feeling off.
According to Mayo Clinic, the most common symptoms of depression are as follows:
- Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness.
- Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters.
- Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports.
- Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much.
- Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort.
- Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain.
- Anxiety, agitation or restlessness.
- Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements.
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame.
- Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things.
- Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide.
- Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches.
If you should experience any of these symptoms, or a combination of them for a period of two weeks or more, it is advised to consult with your primary care physician.