The holidays are considered “the most wonderful time of the year,” according to the popular song by Andy Williams. The holidays are supposed to be filled with joy, cheer and love, when in reality, many people sink into sadness and depression during the holiday season. According to Psychology Today, there are even higher rates of suicides attempted suicide during this time, which contradicts the popular belief that this season brings cheer to most. Why does this happen during the most cheerful time of the year? There are multiple factors that play into this. One factor could be the fact that the winter is dark and dreary, automatically putting people in a bad mood. This is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, in which the season and one’s surroundings affect his or her mood and behavior (https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wired-success/201011/why-people-get-depressed-christmas).
Another reason for sadness during the holidays is that people begin to feel lonely. When people lose a loved one or family member, the loss tends to hurt the most during the holidays. The holidays are all about spending time with family, and when family gatherings are missing someone, it deepens the reality of the loss. Additionally, people stress over having to buy gifts for other people and feeling pressured to spend a significant amount of money on a gift for a loved one. Expectations and pressure from family are also prevalent. Another factor, according to Health Line, is that when someone who is already depressed or sad sees other people being cheerful during the holiday season, it makes them question why they aren’t as happy, making them fall deeper into their depression. Overall, the holiday season may make some people cheerful and joyous, while it makes others feel depressed and lonely. With that being said, reach out to a neighbor or classmate when you have the chance to provide a sense of community that some may need during the holidays.