christmas depression| cat| Terezia Farkas | Beliefnet

In 2017 I wrote an article, “Christmas Depression” I asked why Christmas was so depressing and what could be done to fight Christmas depression. I was surprised to find that during Christmas fewer people are actually admitted to hospital emergency rooms because of depression, anxiety, or suicide attempts. Maybe you’re thinking, “Christmas must somehow magically cure depression.” NO!

Immediately after Christmas, there’s a spike in the number of suicides and hospital admissions for depression and anxiety. What I suspect happens during the few days of Christmas is that people are more aware of each other’s situations. People visit those who are depressed. People are also more aware of self care techniques because of the enormous holiday stress. People try to be kinder, gentler with each other. But this can only work for a few days.

To break the Christmas fantasy, we need to really connect with each other.

Connecting with each other shouldn’t just happen at Christmas. It’s a talent that needs to be practiced year round. Watch for friends and family who feel left out, who stay away from get togethers, or who seem to be moody and sulking in the crowd. Make it a mission to converse with that person.

Don’t just say, “Nice to meet you.” Involve the person in some real conversation. Be an active listener. Remember what is being said. Don’t be fake. Make sure your conversation is real, and you’re expressing your real feelings and thoughts. If you feel like you really have nothing in common, don’t pretend you do.

The idea is to connect with the person who seems lonely, depressed, or anxious. By acknowledging the person’s presence you’re saying, “I see you. You matter.”

If you need help or know someone who is in emotional or mental distress, reach out for help. In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

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