This year has been very difficult for most. I believe that it began almost the way it will end. High crime rates around the country, very difficult presidency, storm fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, and “yes”, many deaths of loved ones. Many people view the holidays as a festive time for family members to come together, office and job parties, non-stop shopping and seeking out deals such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday and the media pushing sales, sales, sales, and shop to you drop pitches 24/7. But do we ever stop and realize the many people that experience depression, anxiety, loneliness and become suicidal over the holidays? If the answer is “No”. Then you are truly out of tune with reality. Both joy and sadness can come with the holiday season. The holidays is the biggest time that people commit suicide, enter in psychiatric facilities, indulge in drugs and alcohol use more than usual, and a host of many other violent and destructive behaviors including domestic violence.
The use of social media such as Facebook and Instagram gives off the false pretense as you scroll down your feed that everyone is happy and having a grandiose lifestyle. While one may take notice of a friend’s page looking savvy with pictures and videos with hundreds of likes and comments. Within days or weeks, that same individual who showcased those beautiful videos and photos is now asking friends and acquaintances to pray for either themselves or a loved one that may have passed away or suffering from an illness.
If you notice that someone is or has been isolating themselves from others, especially if the individual is usually very social, and now you can barely get them out of the house or participate in any social activities whereas they were once a social butter fly, then it should become obvious to you that something is wrong. The fall and winter months tend to bring about depression a little more than the warmer months and the holidays don’t make it any easier. The stigma associated with mental illness should be no more different than that of a person who is suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes or any other illness that is treated with medication, except when it’s an illness of the mind and the term crazy is associated to mental illness, it prevents people from seeking help. Always keep in mind that holiday blues is not something that just rears its ugly head, but happens due to unresolved issues that magnifies itself around the time when joy and sorrow mixtures into a combustion. There are online counselors for those that have a hard time going the traditional route. I also provide counseling for those seeking help for themselves or others.