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Holidays prompt an uptick in depression

You could be dealing with financial stress, not being with family, or maybe a sudden loss has you down.

TAMPA, Fla. — As the holidays come around, life can get harder for many of us. 

You could be dealing with financial stress, not being with family, or maybe a sudden loss has you down. 

"It's hard enough to lose someone any of the other time of the year, but then you’ve got all the memories of the holidays that can make this time so much more difficult for individuals," CEO of the Crisis Center of Tampa Clara Reynolds said.

The holiday blues are a nationwide trend, but here in Tampa Bay, the crisis center said it's all about timing. They see a spike either right before the holidays or right after. 

"Individuals are more isolated and lonelier now during the holidays. They’re seeing things on TV or social media where families are together, so if you don’t have that situation, it's more acute. You will tend to feel more isolated more alone and that can lead to more depressive thoughts," Reynolds said.

While they see an uptick in calls to their center, they said there are helpful signs you can look for in someone who might be struggling.

"The most common sign is if someone tells you they're suicidal or if they tell you that life would be better without them," Reynolds said.

RELATED: Considering suicide or know someone who is? There is help

Also, watch for someone who has been depressed and then their mood changes suddenly.

"They might have already made that decision that they're getting ready to end their life and they're at peace with that," Reynolds said.

If you notice signs of depression Call 211 right away. The crisis center said you should let professionals step in and help create a plan to live.

"Trust your gut. If your gut is telling you that there's something off with your family member, your feeling like there's something going on don't wait," Reynolds said.

RELATED: 'Stop the Stigma': An unfiltered look at mental illness

RELATED: Suicide rate spikes for young people

If you have suicidal thoughts, you are not alone. And, there is help available. Contact the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay at 211 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255. 

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