- Loss of confidence, dignity and self respect
- Low self-esteem and poor self-worth
- Loss of hope for the future
- Adverse effects on both physical and mental health
- The inability to trust others even close family and friends
- The inability to relax and enjoy life
- Loss of innocence and childhood
- Anxiety, guilt and fear
- Sexual dysfunction, withdrawal, and acting out
- Difficulties in relating to the opposite sex.
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- Obsessive behaviour and strict routines
- Anxiety states
- Self-harming e.g. cutting, scratching or burning
- Depression and suicide.
If you know someone who is struggling at this time of year then please reach out to them. Suicide rates often increase over the holiday period so please keep your eyes and hearts open
and remember that not all scars are visible.
For fellow survivors please remember that you are not alone and that help is there for you. If you feel that the festivities are affecting you then confide in someone you trust, or contact a helpline. I've spent Christmases alone, and I've also felt very alone when sharing Christmas with family or friends. It doesn't have to be that way for you too.
Christmas is not about giving and receiving presents, over indulgence and keeping up with the Joneses! Christmas is about love. The greatest gift you can give is that of love, and this includes learning to love yourself.