It’s supposed to be the happiest time of the year. The lights are flashing, the Christmas trees are up and everyone is generally in a great spirit.
Most of us reflect with family and friends about how grateful we are that we have them in our lives. We sing Christmas Carols, drink Eggnog and have a big feast.
However, there something no one wants to talk about that also happens during the holidays. It’s the Christmas Blues.
A lot of people struggle with deep depression and anxiety during this time of year. Whether it’s the stress of Christmas shopping or the sadness of not having loved ones around, Christmas time can be stressful and, sadly, depressing for many people.
So why are people so depressed at Christmas? Well, the answer is there is no straight answer. For some people it can be a mood disorder brought on by the changing seasons, for others, it’s the pressures of financial hardship and expectations that are brought on by the holidays.
Seasonal depression is a very real disorder. In fact, there is a name for it: Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This can be so serious that it can cripple people’s quality of life. Some spend long hours in bed, overeat and have other serious symptoms.
However, if you or someone you know suffers from this, there are a number of treatments that can help overcome this depression, such as artificial exposure to sunlight, counselling with a psychiatrist and medication.
If your depression is brought on due to financial hardship, you are not alone. Christmas is the season where consumers rack up more debt on their credit cards than any other time of the year. It’s easy to see how people can fall down the rabbit hole of debt.
It’s important to remember that it’s the thought that counts. Putting yourself in debt is not worth the long-term financial stress over one day.
If you are depressed because you can’t see your family or you’re not able to be with them for any number of reasons, try and keep your self busy by volunteering at your local food kitchens or helping others less fortunate than you. There are studies that show that keeping busy can help you get out of a potential depression.
So, this holiday season try and keep your head up and try not to let the Christmas Blues get you down. Featured image by Randi Hausken, via WikiMedia Commons* Featured image by Randi Hausken, via WikiMedia Commons