Christmas time for many people is not “Holly” nor “Jolly.” For many people, the Christmas season brings up memories of loss, increased feelings of lonesomeness and disconnection from the world. Painful past events and experiences are also triggered.
As a therapist, I have spoken to countless individuals who struggle, and even in some cases dread the holiday season. Christmas season brings up deep rooted historical pain and unresolved human suffering for individuals implicated by their past. One Study suggested that 45% of respondents in North America do not look forward, and even dread the holiday season.
Sadness and depression spike at this time of the year. The emergency department and local police services identify and increase in high risk behaviours during this time, such as self-harm and suicide. What else might contribute to these emotional responses and feelings during this season?
Is it Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), or the over focus on consumerism, or the over emphasis on “giving gifts to others” when you are financially struggling, or is it the ridiculous debt that many people put themselves into during the holiday season because of their perception of needing to give to others?
What we do know based on research from Berkeley University is that being more materialistic produces less satisfaction, meaning and gratitude in peoples daily lives, and as a whole overall.
Wishing everyone peace.
December 13th, 2017