The holidays are the most exciting and happy times for most people, but for some, they are some of the darkest and most depressing couple of months, especially for those stuck in the hospital. Instead of being with family and friends and participating in all the normal holiday rituals, they are in a sterile room surrounded by caring strangers. This change in circumstance may leave some patients feeling blue or depressed.
Feeling blue is how most would describe feeling sad for a short period of time due to a temporary change in circumstance. True depression, on the other hand, is a more serious condition; the symptoms are more significant and last longer.
Common symptoms of depression include:
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Feeling irritable or angry
- Feeling worthless
- Feeling hopelessness or helpless
- Loss of pleasure in things you once enjoyed
- Lack of energy
- Difficulty concentrating
If you or someone you love is currently in the hospital, here are some tips that may help:
- Encourage visits from family and friends
- Set up a video conference if in-person visits are not possible
- Try to keep a normal schedule
- Schedule additional celebrations for the coming months
- Display pictures of your family
- Stay connected to those you love via phone, email, social media, etc.
- Be mindful of the things, people, and activities that make you feel good; list them and give thanks
If feelings of sadness persist, whether at home or in the hospital, you or your loved one should consult with a behavioral healthcare professional for additional guidance and support. UofL Health – Peace Hospital offers a wide range of behavioral healthcare services for children, adolescents, adults, and older adults. For more information, please visit UofLHealth.org or call 502-451-3333.