Let’s talk about depression for a moment. Most of us have experienced it, or know someone close to us who has. Something that doesn’t seem to be spoken about enough though is how depression can worsen for some of us around Christmas time. And I get it, you know? I really do. Who wants to talk about feeling terrible when it’s the most wonderful time of the year, right? Well, I do.
*This post isn’t an advice post, just my thoughts about something I deal with and I know a lot of you do too. I’m not an expert by any means, but I hope this post will help whoever needs it to feel less alone.*
I was diagnosed with depression at the ripe old age of nine, and since then it’s never let up – not for one moment. I’ve learned to live with it, as most people diagnosed with mental illnesses do. I went to counselling, I’m on medication, and I try my best to maintain a lifestyle that’s both physically and mentally healthy. I like to think I’ve got a pretty good grip on it by now. But there’s always one time of year when I find myself caught out, and that’s Christmas.
Don’t get me wrong. Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year – I love it! I just, for some reason, find that my depression seems to re-emerge out of nowhere and takes me down with a metaphorical kick in the shins (I’m picturing a festive football game between me and my brain for some reason?). I used to feel that I was more or less alone in this but, upon doing some research, I’ve discovered that this is quite a common thing.
All this to say, if you have depression, and you feel that it gets worse every time Christmas comes around, I want you to know that you are not alone. You are not a grinch, or ungrateful, or anything else that may cross your mind when you wonder why you feel like this at ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ when everyone else seems so happy. You are stronger than you know, and you are allowed to struggle and feel your emotions. You do not have to put on a fake smile for the holiday season. On the other hand, if you are someone who has a loved one in this situation, I want you to know that your support may be needed now more than usual. Please be kind, please be gentle and patient.
I’m feeling it quite badly this year, but I’m still enjoying Christmas as much as I can because, as I said, I love it. And there’s no way I’m letting my brain take that away from me.
Christmas can be a hard time for a lot of people for a million different reasons, so please remember you are not alone. We got this.
p.s. Sorry this post is a bit of a ramble and not exactly brilliantly written. As I said, I’m feeling like I’ve lost my festive football match against my brain. (Does that make sense?)