The lights are twinkling in neighbors’ decorated yards, and as you drive down the street you can see Christmas trees shining bright through living room windows. Stores are busy and parking lots full. Mail boxes are filled with cards and letters recounting happy days and well wishes for the days to come. Calendars are crowded with holiday events from Christmas parties to holiday concerts and tree lighting ceremonies. Music on the radio and in stores offer hopes of merriment, peace, and joy. Even normal television programming is usurped by shows about reindeers, snowmen, and families reuniting to live “happily ever after.” Yes, it is that time of year that is festive and bright.
But not everyone experiences “holiday cheer” during this time of year. For some, it is a very lonely and sad time. The holidays are not always a happy time for people, and depression is a very real experience for many. Even in the classics like “A Christmas Carol” to “Frankenstein” depression is a common theme. Great men of the Bible, including David, the author of Psalms, suffered from depression. In the United States, approximately 30,000 people die by suicide every year, and many more people attempt suicide. It is, however, a myth that more people commit suicide during the holidays than at any other time of the year. In actuality, more people commit suicide in the spring.
Depression is quite prevalent, and for that reason, I plan on taking the next several blog posts to have a very real discussion about depression. I invite you to submit your comments and questions. Perhaps you have never experienced depression, but statistics suggest you know someone who has, and you probably know someone who is suffering with depression right now.
There are several factors that may contribute to depression, especially during the holidays. I will discuss many of those, as well as ways to consider combatting them. While I agree that “knowledge is power,” I more strongly believe that applied knowledge is power. I hope you will join me.
If someone is moody, are they depressed?
Is depression hereditary?
Is there a mid life crisis depression?
How do people actually get over from being depressed?
How long does depression last with most people?
How does someone get out of a depression?
What does a parent do when they suspect their child might be depressed?
What should a person do if a friend seems depressed?
Thanks for stopping by the site and reading. You’ve asked some very good questions that I will be addressing in upcoming blog posts. I hope you’ll stop by often and share with any friends or family who might benefit.
All the Best to You,
Great info. I remember growing up my grandparents never seemed excited about Christmas. I recall overhearing a comment about all the work. I couldn’t conceive of the notion that people thought Christmas was work b/c to me at that time, Christmas was fun. Now, I fall into the the same line of thinking my grandparents had. I am no longer excited about it. It feels like work. People act crazy while at the malls and shopping centers. Drivers become more aggressive. I would rather avoid it all. I minimize this time of year as much as possible within my own family and minimize the stress by not participating in holiday parties or functions where my presence is not necessary.
I look forward to your future posts on this topic. I’m interested in knowing if the holiday season brings on depression or if it aggravates an existing condition. And I also wonder if the shorter days…having more dark hours than daylight hours is a contributor.
Blessings to you!
Thanks for stopping by and for your honest reflections Shonda. I think many feel exactly the same way, but then are ashamed by those feelings because most who feel that way won’t honestly share.
I’ll be posting about some of the contributing factors to depression in upcoming posts. During the holidays, it’s so important for us to remember the real reason we celebrate the holidays in the first place. Jesus was born in a crowded, smelly manger…not a palace. He came in the most humble way possible, yet over the years we have gotten away from focusing on that and turned our focus on all the commercialism and party-like celebration, sometimes losing sight of who we are celebrating.
Hi Michelle, In my late twenties, I suffered three months with depression. I couldn’t pray that dark cloud over my head away, until one night I asked the Lord if some sin was keeping me from being healed of it. He spoke one word to my spirit … unforgiveness, annd I knew exactly what He was referring to. I prayed in repentence and at that moment, the dark cloud lifted. I know sin isn’t always the reason for depression, but on my case it was.
Thanks for sharing your heart and knowledge with us.
Love ~ Danie
Thanks for sharing your experience Danie Marie! Everyone’s experience with depression is different, but it always bring with it a sting of pain. I’m glad the Lord showed you an area that you needed to address in your walk with Him which resulted in healing. There are many aspects that people need to consider when they are suffering with depression, and our spiritual walk can be one of them.
Looking forward to reading the upcoming posts.
Thanks Rick! Part 2 is up now. Thanks for stopping by!
Thank you for your post. I look forward to reading your following ones. So many people hurt at this time of year.
Thanks Rick and Anne! I’m glad you stopped by! Part two is up now. My prayer is that it will provide hope for someone’s hurting heart.