EDITORIAL: Reach out to the depressed

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 30, 2002

The holiday blues have already set in for many people, and that’s not talking about sad songs. It’s people dealing with depression which often deepens during the time of year when happiness should reign supreme.

Many people are simply existing – living through the holiday period apart from family and without friends, lacking in the social connections which tie most us together and bind us in the celebration of the season.

Many have lost loved ones whose loss seems especially poignant during the holidays, including children, siblings, parents or spouses.

Many take the perceived commercialization of Christmas to heart and are depressed because of the lack of attention people should pay to the season.

Still others are feeling particularly down because of concerns over their health or of their own strained financial situation or lack of a job.

Some question the meaning of or lack of direction for their own lives, feeling they could be or should be doing more. They fail to know the next move, though.

Depression is a very real, very dangerous condition and one which demands immediate attention. There are, however, resources to assist people attempting to deal with depression. Many of them can be reached through their local United Way office.

Additionally, we all should make ourselves aware of the people around us, picking up on the signals of depression and take steps to include these people in our own activities, making them a part of this holiday.

If it’s only bringing a box of cookies or a pie to that lonely lady next door or that elderly gentleman across the street, it could literally make the difference between life and death.