Holiday Depression and Seniors

Depression can occur at any time of the year, but it’s especially common during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. While thoughts of spending time with family and exchanging gifts bring excitement for many people, others are consumed by stress, fatigue or anxiety. With limited opportunities for gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic, the senior population is especially at risk for holiday depression this year. 

“We’ve certainly seen an increase in new patient referrals with the senior population experiencing increased depression,” said Steven Simmons, community education coordinator at the CHI St. Vincent Senior Behavioral Health Unit. “It’s been hard to keep those traditions this year that we’re so used to during the holidays, and it’s often our senior population that is missing out on those.” 

Social isolation can worsen depression, so while maintaining social distancing practices, it’s important to keep in touch with lonely family members and recognize any signs or changes in mood or behavior. Feelings of worthlessness or helplessness, a lack of energy and changes in appetite or weight are some of the most common signs of holiday depression. To learn more about the impact of depression and the high-quality treatment provided by the team of specially trained health care professionals at CHI St. Vincent, visit: