When Christmas Isn’t Quite so Merry

The Christmas season is not always a joyous time for everyone.  Here are some suggestions and ideas on how to help a friend or loved one who is feeling depressed during the holidays.


  • Be patient.  There is no timeline on depression.
  • Be sensitive.
  • Offer back rubs, tea, or favorite snacks.  Small offers of kindness, as well as engaging in activities that are fun or provide a sense of accomplishment, go a long way toward lifting spirits.
  • Be a non-judgmental listener.
  • Invite her to activities, even if she may sometimes refuse.
  • Continue to call and keep in touch; let her know someone cares.Morning After Pill?
  • Encourage her to see a doctor or therapist if things get really bad.
  • If she threatens suicide, take her to a hospital immediately.


  • Tell her to snap out of it.  Depression is a medical condition that takes time to heal.
  • Tell her that you understand why she’s depressed; unless you’ve been there yourself, you don’t.
  • Tell her she will feel better soon.  That can be interpreted as proof that you don’t understand the disease and make her feel more alienated.
  • Be pushy.  This can cause a depressed person to withdraw even more.
  • Be judgmental.  Depression is not anyone’s fault.
  • Expect her to be the same as when she is not depressed.
*Taken from http://www.canadianliving.com/health/mind_and_spirit/beat_the_holiday_blues_3.php