By the time that the first week of November is gone, the world sends itself into a hyper-speed of everything holiday-related. Stores throw-up pounds of Christmas decorations. People get frantic over finding the last hot toy item of the year. Trees go up before the turkey gets set on the table.
It’s happening right now. One week into December and the holiday season is in full force. A time where, for many people, feel pure joy and happiness. However, for many others, this time of year can be the hardest to get through.
Depression doesn’t care if it’s Christmas. It doesn’t care that the air is cooler; that a jolly song on the radio is meant to burst your spirits with joy. Depression doesn’t bat an eye at the pretty lights or the feeling of togetherness; in fact, being together is perhaps the last thing a depressed person wants to be.
Yes, it’s the holidays. But for the millions of adults that suffer from depression, this time of the year can be the hardest to get through. And this is not just an opinion, it’s been proven.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) approximately 24% of people with a diagnosed mental illness find that the holidays make their condition “a lot” worse and 40% “somewhat” worse. Although suicide rates do not spike around this time of the year (they are actually highest between April and Augusut) it’s been shown that signs and symptoms associated with mental health temporarily worsen around this time of year.
In a survey reported by NAMI, approximately 755 of the overall respondents reported that the holidays contribute to feelings of sadness and dissatisfaction. 68% of survey participants felt financially strained, 66% experienced loneliness, 63% felt an overwhelming sense of pressure, 55% found themselves remembering happier times in the past contrasting with the present, while 50% were unable to be with loved ones.
While the statistics are there, sitting right in front of my face, I’m not blind to the notion that many people right now are hurting. Emotionally. Mentally. Physically. Financially. Right now, our country is in a state of unbalance. This year has been riddled with hate, political drama, and a global pandemic. Things are hazy right now. A lot of us are unsure about next month, hell…. next week. How many people are unable to afford a proper Christmas for their families this year? How many won’t have a loved one to call, due to dying from COVID-19? And how many elderly and immunosuppressive people will be alone this holiday season, sheltered off from their loved ones in fear of catching the virus? Surely, this state of affairs is only damaging to our mental health; amplifying anxiety and depression ten-fold. I hate to think about how it’s affecting our childrens’ mental health.
This year, now more than ever, we need to check on our people. Whether you know that they struggle with depression or have seemed a little closed-off lately, check on them. It’s hard this year, for all of us. But do you know who is really struggling?
Source: Discovery Mood