Depression During Christmas


Tabitha Asher , Reporter

 Most people really look forward to the holidays and indulge themselves in Christmas fun, but not everyone enjoys the holidays as much as you would think. Some people deal with a lot during the holidays like stress from everyone coming over and deciding what gifts to get for everyone. With family and friends coming over some people feel a lot of pressure to make sure everything is perfect and clean and that there’s enough food for everyone and places for everyone to sit comfortably. Some people who aren’t as fortunate as others may feel bad because they can’t get presents for the people that they care about.

According to HealthPartners, a non-profit national health organization, many people experience something called Major Depressive Disorder with a seasonal pattern. Seasonal affective disorder is clinical depression that appears in the late fall and can last until early spring. It’s known to be linked with changes in light during the wintertime, so it’s more common in northern climates. The limited exposure to natural light can impact our body’s rhythm and neurochemical balance. It can change your perspective when the days seem shorter, night time lasts longer, and cold weather keeps us cooped up indoors. 

The holidays are a stereotypically cheerful time when everyone is meant to be surrounded by loved ones and enjoying every part of the season. But when someone isn’t feeling happy or cheerful, or if they can’t be near their loved ones,with everyone around them happy it can make them feel even more down, and often alone with their feelings which deepens symptoms of depression. Holiday months are spent differently by everyone, and personal circumstances play a big part in how and why someone may experience stress or sadness. 

Patterns of increased rates of depression during the holidays have been documented by doctors and mental health professionals for years. And the National Alliance on Mental Illness found that 64% of people living with a mental illness reported that their conditions worsened around the holidays.When the holidays come around, they bring a variety of events, social interactions and challenges. Sometimes the resulting stress has to do with the pressure of how many responsibilities someone has. In other cases, it can be tied to complicated memories of the past or anxiety about family gatherings.

Even the ones who seem like they’re doing well. Sometimes people are able to smile and hide their feelings of anxiety or depression behind a brave face. When really, they could benefit from talking to someone about how they’re truly doing. When someone takes time and care to reach out, it reinforces that we are seen and have supportive people in our lives.