Here are practical tips to help your loved ones get through this festive, merry-making season.
Although the Christmas season is associated with merrymaking, it can be difficult for those struggling with depression or dealing with a recent loss or setback.
“Being surrounded by happy people who are enjoying close friendships can magnify the pain they are experiencing as it is a reminder of what they don’t have,” said Dr Adrian Wang, a consultant psychiatrist at Gleneagles Medical Centre.
“We often mean well when we say things like ‘Time heals all wounds’, or ‘It’s all in God’s plan’, but these platitudes bring little comfort,” he said. They might seem insincere and too general, so it might be better to not say anything at all.
“Be physically there and, where appropriate, offer a hug or a kind touch,” he advised.
“Make the effort to listen, but don’t force them to talk if they don’t want to.”
Dr Wang said you can write a note offering your support and acknowledging that they are going through a difficult time. “What you want to do is remind them that they are not alone.”