Happy Holidays?

Holidays are the best time of the year…or at least that’s what we’re told.
Countless seasonal songs tell of the magic that springs into the air when Christmas rolls around. Rudolph sings that Christmas is “The Most Wonderful Time of The Year,” in his movie “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Peggy Lee sings of the “Happy Holiday,” and Wizzard sings of happy Christmas times in their song, “I Wish it Could be Christmas every day.”
The overall consensus is that Christmas, and holidays in general, are marketed as happy times of the year, but that definitely does not mean that everyone feels holiday glee.
In fact, for some, the holiday season is a horribly depressing time.
Medical author, Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, writes in her article, “Holiday Depression, Anxiety, and Stress,” that some people feel especially sad during the holiday season because of increased stress and anxiety that comes from the financial pressures, unrealistic expectations, as well as the countless commitments that are present around holiday time.
Stöppler also mentions in her article that some people struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder, more commonly known as seasonal depression,
During the holiday season. Seasonal depression most commonly affects people because of the decreasing hours of daylight, coupled with the colder weather that comes with winter.
There is, however, duality to this argument. While holiday times may not be as cheerful for everyone like it is marketed to be, suicide rates decrease during the holidays. In fact, people struggling with suicidal ideation may benefit from the holiday season.
April Foreman, Ph.D., is a suicidologist, spoke with Healthline about suicide during holiday times. Foreman explained that committing suicide takes a lot of energy, and during the winter, people lose energy. Foreman also highlighted the idea that being around family often acts as a hindrance to suicidal thoughts.

While talking to Healthline, Foreman said, “We have a good four to six weeks of inviting each other in, connecting. If we treated each other the same way we do over the holidays all year long, it would be very preventative.”

The most important thing to know if you are struggling during the holidays is that you are not alone. Roughly 10 million Americans struggle with seasonal depression, and roughly 17.3 million Americans struggle with depression.
This holiday season, no matter what holiday you celebrate, make sure to take some time to celebrate yourself.