The upcoming Magic Valley holiday season will be less magical for those suffering from depression. There are resources available 24 hours a day in Twin Falls for those dealing with a mental health crisis.

Depression has impacted my family greatly over the past several years. The onset of Covid-19 last year compounded the problem for one family member in particular, who has since, I'm happy to say, improved significantly through rehabilitation, meditation and medication. The scary thing I've found to be true about depression is that once the condition takes root, the slightest prompt can trigger overwhelming despondency.

I've studied depression a great deal in the past few years in an attempt to get a better understanding of what loved ones are going through . The pressure of being forced into family gatherings can trigger anxiety and even anger. I've witnessed this personally, and I've seen people withdraw rather than commit to such social celebrations. Isolation during the holiday season can be too much for some to handle.

My philosophy, when surrounded by family, has been to avoid conversations that may cast a light on a person's misfortune or failures. Egos should be left with coats at the front door during holiday gatherings. Those with a habit of belittling others should censure themselves around the dinner table as well.

Signs of depression usually include withdrawing from others, sleeplessness, irritability, and weight loss. The Mayo Clinic shared a video in 2018 that offers advice on how to lessen the impact of holiday depression. The video does a good job of identifying certain triggers that occur at a time when materialism, wealth, relationships, and family are all focal points.

In Twin Falls, the Crisis Center of South Central Idaho operates around the clock, and offers shelter and a voice for those feeling depressed or hopeless. The Idaho Department of Health & Welfare also can direct people to resources closest to them. Please watch out for those that might be showing signs of depression during the upcoming holiday season.

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