"It is better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness."—Eleanor Roosevelt
Do the holidays make you…
I never planned to be a solo parent—or depressed. Numerous studies reveal that single parents, especially moms, are at greater risk for depression any time of the year.
Our daily "Must-Dos" are longer than Santa's gift list. The holidays heighten our multiple life stressors and decreased social support. This time of year also reminds us of all our losses—marriage, family, income, lifestyle, and home. Situational depression—feeling sad or unhappy—around the holidays is normal.
Warning Signs of Depression
If you experience several of these symptoms and they will not go away, you're suffering from clinical depression.
- Crying for no apparent reason.
- Becoming enraged at small things.
- Feeling ugly or really bad about yourself.
- Feeling overwhelmed, depressed, restless, or irritable.
- Inability to control negative thoughts, even when you try.
- Constant fatigue or loss of energy. Small tasks exhaust you.
- Inability to sleep, sleeping too much or oversleeping every morning.
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions or remembering things.
- Frequent thoughts that life isn't worth living or you're planning how to end it.
- Frequent feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, helplessness, or inappropriate guilt.
- Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.
- Loss of interest or pleasure in normal daily activities, work, hobbies, spending time with friends, or social activities.
If the holiday blues pitch you into a black hole, pay special attention to yourself. Don't bury your head and fill in the pit with more dirt. Depression is hard to dig out of alone. Ask for help and support.