Holidays can be deadly for those who don't have friends and family

Written by: Nairita Das
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Washington, Dec 26 (ANI): Holidays bring happiness to most people, but it is a lonely and depressing time for those who have no company.

At this time of the year, more people indulge in potentially lethal behaviour.

"For those who have no support system, no friends, family, loved ones or even co-workers, the holidays can prove very deadly," said Mark DeSilva, of the Gottlieb Memorial Hospital.

"Everywhere, there are signs of gatherings, gift exchanges, happiness and love. If you are not experiencing what the rest of the world is enjoying, it is very bitter.

"The holidays bring out desperate behavior in unstable individuals and they frequently end up in the ED as a medical emergency," said DeSilva.

Here are the five tips DeSilva gave to identify individuals who may be vulnerable during the holidays:

1 - Isolated behavior - "Most people are busy going to social gatherings, shopping, attending events and connecting with friends. Look for those who shun social interaction or who consistently do not attend events that they say they will," said DeSilva.

2 - Angry mood - "The person expresses sarcasm, unhappiness or criticism of others' joy in the season and is consistently pessimistic," he DeSilva.

3 - Alcohol or drug excess - DeSilva said, "Beer or cocktails, readily available throughout the holidays, or illegal drugs, are overindulged to numb the pain the individual is feeling and offer an escape from reality."

4 - Missing frequently from work/social activities - "Facing others who are happy and bright is often too difficult for those feeling the holiday blues. They may be consistently absent or very late to work or no-shows at anticipated social engagements," he said.

5 - Excessive sleeping - "Depression often takes the guise of extreme fatigue or tiredness. The body shuts down to form an escape from the everyday world," said DeSilva. (ANI)

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