Monday, 28 November 2011

Blue Christmas...

Christmas is coming...... I have always loved Christmas, the build up, the sharing, time with friends and family. Almost every year as an adult I end up depressed....



It has improved over the last few years. Acknowledging the fact it exists, and then sharing that knowledge is so important. I know now the reasons why I struggle over Christmas.. A need to please, wanting everything to go well, I plan and prepare and plot too much. The grandfather was born on Christmas Day... That used to really bug me. Gifts I received for Christmas used to vanish soon afterwards and I'd get the blame. In truth he sold them to pay for his Whisky habit...

I almost got into that "habit" myself as an adult. Drink was such an easy escape, then mornings came and feelings of guilt, shame and the hangover. I hid this for years. It was always worse at Christmas. Now I enjoy an occasional drink, but stick to the milder varieties and rarely get drunk.

I spent a couple of Christmases totally alone, not seeing anyone. I hated it and now if I hear of anyone spending the day alone I invite them over. Christmas is no time to be alone.

‘Tis the season to be jolly..... Apparently December is not only the month where depression is most likely to hit you but it also has the highest rate of suicides. It’s the month where family and friends should be getting together, where you plan your Christmas and decorate the home etc.

Many things can trigger deeper depression in December...

Loneliness, bereavement and grieving, failed business or loss of a job. The breakup of a relationship. Ill health generally.  All likely to set you on the road to depression at any time, but worse at this time of year.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D) adds to the equation. I love Christmas but hate the short days and cold wet weather..





It's the most wonderful time of the year...

Coping with depression is bad enough, but trying to do so when everyone else is extra happy makes it harder to reach out, to ask for help. We don't want to stand out from the crowd so instead we cut ourselves off. Not wanting to drag others down into our depression we stand alone, and watch from the sidelines.
Instances of depression are higher in those who have suffered trauma in their earlier lives. At a time of year where people are getting together to celebrate, those with depression are most likely to feel more isolated. Unable to join in, to embrace the season of good will, they sink further and further into a pit of gloom.
Alone in crowd. I have often felt most lonely when there are people hustling and bustling around me, laughing and joking. Not wanting to spoil their festive fun I would either paint a false smile on my face or just vanish into the shadows. Christmas can be a very stressful time for anyone. For those prone to depression it can be a nightmare.



Though there has been more publicity over the issue of Christmas depression in recent years, it is still not understood. The most important thing you can do is tell someone how you feel. Reach out before the season starts and share. Communication is much easier now. Social media and the internet generally helps bring people together. Telephone someone, talk to someone. See your Doctor or Priest, just don't sit at home alone. There is no shame in admitting that you get depressed and you may be suprised to find others feeling the same way. All to often those who find themselves getting depressed do nothing about it.
Depression can deeply affect your life. It can sneak up and disrupt your work, your home life, your health generally and can lead you to neglect those around you that need you well. Grab a hold of the problem and do something about it.The most important thing is to reach out, ask for help, talk to someone.



Don't let depression destroy your Christmas or that of those around you. The power to do something about it is in your hands. Do you want to become another statistic? Please remember there is no shame in asking for help. This is the season of goodwill to all men and if Scrooge can do it then so can you. 

If you are prone to Christmas depression then reach out, tell someone. Seek help if needs be.
If you know someone who appears to be slipping into a depression or who always gets the winter blues reach out to them. It won't kill you and you might just save a life.

Be nice to yourself, be kind to yourself. The greatest gift is that of love so remember to love yourself too.


5 comments:

CharliDenae said...

This post really spoke to me. I've struggled with depression for years but always feel the need to disguise it with a big smile, especially this time of year. Yes, I'm one of those. Paste on a big smile and fool everyone into thinking I'm the cheerful happiness fairy. I've always felt I have to hide my true feelings. It's not fair to bring others down just because I can't shake the unhappy side of me, and what right do I have to feel unhappy, anyway? I've got nothing to be unhappy about... I've truly got a blessed life and am grateful for it. Still, the whole thing just seems so overwhelming at times. I'm thinking that a visit to my doctor may be in order. Thanks for reminding me that I'm not alone and it's OK to take some time to care for myself in this time of giving to others.
Uplifting and positive thoughts being sent your way!

marlene said...

Great Job! Felt like you read it off my heart. Have been there many times and it is not easy. Thanks for the reminder to take care of myself. God Bless and have a JOY filled Season!

Tryingmybest said...

Remember when we had Christmas in the summer? That was one of my best ever Christmases x

Jan WordWizard said...

I remember our summer Christmas very well! I have spoken of it many times down the years.....

We closed the curtains, put up the tree and decorations and had presents and Christmas dinner... Late July or early August I think. What were we, 22? Half a lifetime ago. :-)

Christmases then were ok, well except the one when L threw the gift I'd bought back at me. I spent the one after we split alone. It was then that they started going really badly wrong. 

Tryingmybest said...

My mum died at Christmas that year I was working for odd job, so that spoilt it for a long time. If you think a quiet christmas is bad, I have bought a paper jam drum kit and amp for a 7 year old (who gets up at 4am) this year. Want to share? No...thought not, ha ha!

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