Christmas depression | Terezia Farkas | Beliefnet

Why do we get depressed at Christmas? The answer is different for everyone.

For Christians, one of their most holy holidays has been taken over by greedy corporations and politically correct fringe groups. For others, Christmas is a hectic time of social interactions with family members who aren’t necessarily on the nice list. With anxiety levels sky rocketing and social expectations weighing heavily upon shoulders, Christmas day – that beloved 24 hours of joy – becomes a dark and dismal spot on the calendar.

The commercialization of Christmas is depressing to Christians.

Some people feel depressed at Christmas because its become too commercialized for what’s supposed to be a religious holiday. It’s like there’s no respect for the Christian faith. You don’t see Ramadan commercialized. Christians can feel that there’s too much emphasis on ‘the perfect gift’ instead of the Holy Family or Jesus. Everyone is expected to sing carols, attend festivals, celebrate with family. Some wonder what happened to Christ in Christmas.

Believing that you have to spend lots of money on gifts also makes people feel depressed. Spending money on gifts can become a competition. Who spends the most money. Who buys the biggest and best gift.

But you can’t buy love or happiness. True, you can buy an object that brings joy and happiness. But that joy and happiness is only short term. Once the novelty of the object wears off, or the joy in using the object wanes, the person starts searching for the next object to bring happiness and joy.

Christmas is supposed to be perfect.

Another reason people get depressed at Christmas is because there’s this idea that Christmas is a time when everyone is overflowing with love. You know, the Hallmark stuff, where everyone smiles and laughs together, and loves one another. In other words, a perfect day. Sure seems nice, but it doesn’t happen enough times in our lives. And for some of us, it doesn’t happen at all. So to expect love and joy to be automatically bestowed at Christmas, and then not have either, is the shattering of a dream. No one likes to have a dream crushed.

Then there are those who are grieving because someone died. Christmas becomes a reminder of that loss, of how much the person meant, of how deep the pain goes, and all the what ifs and missed moments in between.

 Negative people don’t change.

Negative people won’t stop being negative just because its Christmas. Negative people will continue being negative. In fact, Christmas may bring out the ‘victim’ mentality in a negative person. In other words, life sucks and is totally unfair against this one person.

It’s ruminating on the inadequacies of your life. Of self reflection and blaming your faults on everyone else. Everything that’s wrong in your life is someone else’s fault. Everyone is out to win, and they want to crush you. You work hard, but never get a break. And Christmas is another opportunity or time to crush you, take away your self esteem because others have more money to spend on gifts, and so on.

People who hate or dislike each other won’t change because its that one day of the year when there’s supposed to be Peace on Earth. Your Grandmother and Dad will keep hating each other even if the entire family gathers together to celebrate Christmas at Grandmother’s place. Some people dread Christmas because they’ll have to spend time with family, friends, and acquaintances they’d rather not spend time with.

Then there are other issues, like emotional trauma, SAD, etc that make some people depressed at Christmas. Whatever your reason for being depressed, remember – You Are Not Alone! Reach out to someone you trust. Or call a mental health crisis line. Christmas depression is not something you need to take on by yourself.



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