The holidays season can bring out the worst in people sometimes. Certain symptoms of holiday stress might indicate a deeper problem. Sobriety dates and calls for treatment are higher before, during, and immediately after holiday celebrations. Being around food, beverage, family members, memories, or tension seems to be a trigger point for many people. Instead of deferring a loved one’s behaviors for family drama look for these signs to decide if there might be a mental health issue in need of giving professional attention to.
Comments about suicide
It would seem odd for a family member to answer, “How have you been?” with, “Suicidal.” Though the answer may be scoffed off, it could be entirely accurate. Suicidal thoughts accompany numerous mental health disorders. Thoughts about suicide or self-harm or to be taken seriously, not as a sign of a family member’s peculiarities. Take time to sit down with this family member and ask them what is going on. Find out if they have sought out any help or need to. You might be the lifeline they’ve been looking for. What better gift could be given?
Conspiracy Theory Talk
With the popularization of groups like Wikileaks bringing the hacker’s daily download into international spotlight, people have more access to obscure information than before. Anyone can get stuck in the dark rabbit hole of online conspiracy theories. However, someone suffering a mental health problem might become overly obsessed or concerned. Paranoia is a sign of mental health distress. Listen for comments which indicate that a loved one’s concerns seem very serious to them. Ask if they’ve been using any kind of substances or have been struggling with staying connected to reality.
Laziness Beyond The Meal
Teenagers are prone to be lazy and everyone gets a little tired after a copious holiday meal. One family member might seem to be uninterested in the holiday gathering entirely. Being discouraged, unmotivated, or uninspired is a key symptom of depression. If a loved one seems to be particularly down and slow for the holiday, lovingly approach them. Be careful not to criticize but offer concern.
Negative Statements About The Self
Self-deprecation is a form of humor that really shouldn’t be. When someone goes out of their way to make a self-loathing statement or a joke at their own expense they might suffering something causing them emotional pain. Negative statements about food, eating, weight, or body image could indicate a disordered eating issue. Other statements about being a failure or not being okay shouldn’t be overlooked. Ask what might be going on with them to cause them to talk about themselves in this way.
Aurora Recovery Centre provides intensive family therapy workshops. Mental health affects the whole family. If you or a loved one are ready to start the treatment process this holiday season, call Aurora now at 1-844-515-STOP.