Sunday, December 21, 2014 · 8:30 a.m.
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Parkridge Valley counselors are prepared to help anyone feeling blue after the holidays and offer the following tips for recognizing depression. 

“Visits with loved ones have ended, the house looks bare after decorations are taken down and packed up, bills for gifts have started coming in, [and] it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and depressed,” Farlie Chastain, adult services manager for Parkridge Valley, said in a prepared statement.

 Symptoms of depression can manifest themselves in different ways, and it isn't always as simple as being sad, Chastain said. 

“Some people become exhausted and sleep more than usual, while others may find themselves unable to sleep," Chastain said. "Depression can also cause a person to have difficulty concentrating or become especially irritable.”

Lack of interest in intimacy or in activities that the person once found pleasurable may also be a sign of depression, and Chastain encourages reaching out to those who may be depressed. 

“Don’t be afraid to share your concerns with your loved one,” he said. “Sometimes, it makes all the difference to a person to know that someone cares enough about them to notice their behavior. Depression can be a debilitating condition with serious consequences, and it is better to risk someone’s anger by suggesting that they seek help for their condition than to keep silent—even if it makes someone mad, they’ll still know you care, and it is worth it if he or she ends up taking that advice. It is not always good to mind your own business."

Parkridge offers a 24-hour phone line staffed by medical professionals who can provide confidential mental health assessments and phone referrals to appropriate resources. For more information, call 1-423-499-2300.

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