The holidays are the favorite time of the year for many of us. But it can also be a stressful time for many, leading to depression, and - in extreme cases - even suicide.
"I think people have an unrealistic expectation about the holidays that it has to be perfect," said Maggie Baldwin, a counselor at the David Lawrence Center of Naples.
"It stirs up a lot of feelings for people," she added. "It stirs up feelings from childhood, from loss and grief, and so there's loneliness."
Those feelings of loneliness can even lead to thoughts of suicide. Early signs can be as seemingly benign as changes in sleeping and eating patterns, increasingly negative comments, and Increased use of alcohol and drugs. Baldwin urges everyone to pay attention to these signs in friends and loved ones.
"Those are behaviors to pay attention to and maybe provide some intervention," she said. "Say 'hey, do you need someone to talk to? What can we do to help you?'"
Baldwin said that when the thoughts and interactions become too negative, it's time to seek professional help.
"If the symptoms keep going on, if they increase in intensity or severity, please reach out for help," she said. "Please call the crisis line."
The crisis line for the David Lawrence Center is 239-455-8500. Local resources can also be found online at CaresPrevention.org.