The Holidays: Happy for some, depressing for others

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By Charles Glover, Jr.

We look forward to many things during the holiday season that begins with Thanksgiving and culminates with the New Year: extra time off from school and work, more time around family, home-cooked meals, and of course, the presents. Amidst all of these enjoyable moments are the extensive hours people spend trying to make the holidays wonderful for their loved ones.

A couple enjoy the holiday spiirit.--Photo: Getty Images

A couple enjoy the holiday spirit.–Photo: Getty Images

Simple tasks can lead to feelings of stress--Photo: Getty Images

Simple tasks can lead to feelings of stress–Photo: Getty Images

The added stress around the holidays can make what is a wonderful time for many a depressing, dreadful, lonely time for others. Michael Kerr from Healthline.com explains it this way:

“Depression may occur at any time of the year, but the stress and anxiety during the months of November and December may cause even those who are usually content to experience loneliness and a lack of fulfillment.”

While there is little evidence that supports that the suicide rate increases during November and December, it is still important to recognize that there not everyone views the holiday season as a joyful time. Stress is a well-known trigger for depression and the holidays often create new tensions as well as reignite old hurts and feelings of inadequacy or loneliness, resulting in morose thoughts and unhappy feelings.

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It is important to learn how to manage the stress and recognize if a person may be in need of greater help. As Brenda Patoine from The Dana Foundation summarized;

“Finding ways to cope with the heightened demands of holiday gatherings, or filling the gap where they aren’t, is key to surviving the season with affect intact. This can be challenging, because one’s coping strategies may be the first things to fall by the wayside in the busy holiday season.”

The Mayo Clinic lists a number of recommendations for coping with the stress of the holiday season. A few of the suggestion are regular exercise, maintaining a strict budget, and volunteering. If you feel that you or someone you know may need assistance dealing with the emotions of the holidays, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a senior writer for OnPointPress.net and aspiring author. Follow me on Twitter @GloverIsGood.

Merry Christmas to our readers and supporters, get help if you’re in despair

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Christmas is celebrated on the Christian calendar as the time of Jesus’ birth, a time of peace, hope, joy and thankfulness to believers across the globe. For Christians, it is a time to rejoice in Christ’s birth and the blessings that his life have bestowed on those who believe in his teachings.

In keeping with the spirit of Christmas, we send you five of our favorite Christmas songs: “Silent Night” by the Temptations; “Every Christmas” by Luther Vandross; “Someday at Christmas” by Stevie Wonder; “This Christmas” by Donny Hathaway and the irrepressible Eartha Kitt’s “Santa Baby.” We hope these songs will brighten up your day.

But Christmas sometimes represents a period of inordinate stress, sadness, loneliness and despair for people who have suffered loss, lack appropriate support systems or grapple with challenges such as mental illness that render it difficult for them to experience joy.

As you gather with your loved ones this Christmas, remember to send loving thoughts and prayers to those who are suffering. If you or someone you know experience feelings of depression or suicidal ideation, call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. If you live in New York, call 1-800-LIFENET and get help–OnPointPress.net.