Rates of depression, feelings of anger higher in winter holiday season


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For some, the holiday season brings feelings of isolation and depression.

The winter and holiday seasons are the toughest time of the year for a large number of people. People may believe that the winter months are the greatest because they consist of the holiday season where they are able to see family and friends. They may also believe that the winter season consists of the greatest activities such as skiing, sledding and decorating for the holidays. 

However, these individuals do not take into consideration people who do not have those luxuries. When a person loses someone special to them their world lacks its  celebratory aspects. When holiday times come around after a loss, it tends to magnify the feeling of loneliness a person will have. This can make a person feel isolated and even depressed due to the fact that they have nobody to share this special time of the year with. 

When people describe the various holiday activities they forget that the majority of the United States citizens cannot participate in them. This is due to “a lack of finances or just feeling unprepared and ill-equipped to venture forth into unknown territory,” according to Forbes.

In winter months as days begin to grow shorter and people are exposed to less sunlight, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) becomes common. According to a Harvard medical school article about mental health, “SAD is a type of depression that occurs during the late fall and early winter and often ends by spring or early summer.” 

This type of depression is caused by people receiving less sunlight, which is used to stimulate the brain and the body’s internal clock. With this lack of light, the brain is not able to produce the chemical serotonin that makes a person feel alive. 

SAD not only affects mood, but also affects an individual’s functions such as less concentration and memory loss. These facts present why some individuals, especially in northern states as they receive less sunlight in the winter, seem depressed or mentally off during those times.

Activities such as school and extracurriculars can put a large amount of stress on students. Mental health is an important issue, and is especially a problem in the winter months as holiday times are tough for people. 

So next time you are feeling someone is targeting you and angry, consider the possibilities that they may be going through a tough time as winter continues to be the hardest time of the year.