Month ahead not always happy for all

It is supposed to be the season of joy and happiness, but for some Christmas is a depressing time.

“I find there’s an increase in the number of calls I get about depression from the beginning of December to the end of January,” says Marlene Brouwer, a Red Deer Jungian psychoanalyst and psychotherapist with 30 years of counselling experience.

“It’s not just Christmas, although that’s a big factor, it’s the whole winter solstice, the long nights, the dark, the cold. It takes more energy just to do the normal things.”

Common symptoms of depression are feelings of hopelessness and pessimism, that life is passing you by, you don’t want to see people or are scared to be left alone, feelings of guilt, worthlessness and helplessness, persistently sad, anxious or feeling empty, no energy, small tasks become impossible, always thinking about what’s wrong, not enjoying previously enjoyable activities, you feel you are a burden to others, that life isn’t worth living and you have no confidence in yourself.

“With depression comes anxiety because many people feel it’s a weakness, that there’s something bad in themselves. So they try to hide it, but when Christmas comes they have 10 times more things to do, all the social obligations, the shopping, the entertaining, there’s lots of extras,” says Brouwer.

“All those extras add to our feeling of not being connected. I think all of us suffer from a feeling of disconnectedness from time to time, but when you’re depressed it’s a horrible feeling. It’s especially hard at this time of year when there are so many feelings of expectation and joy, so there’s a big disconnect between what people feel inside and what they are suppose to feel.

“Christmas is supposed to be a time of celebration, of new life, but it’s become a time of consumption and hype, of eating and drinking binges, of unrealistic personal expectations. It’s important that individuals pay attention to their own inner feelings of what’s really important. The holidays are an archetypal time of transition, a time of beginnings and endings, and renewal and reflection and so often that gets lost,” she says.

“Instead, ‘under the table’ family issues tend to pop out when a lot of alcohol is consumed. Too often it’s a bad time of turmoil and upset in many families.

“It’s very important that people who realize they are depressed, or see that someone in their life is depressed, get help. A depressed person affects everyone around them. It’s terribly important to get information about living with depression.”

Severe depression, with thoughts of suicide, means an immediate visit to emergency and people feeling depressed need to see a doctor.

Just Posted

Johnny 2 Fingers and the Deformities play The Vat April 27th

Moose Jaw band is on a 39-day national tour from Quebec City to Vancouver

Council highlights

Council to fund Rimbey Boys and Girls Club for $15,000

WATCH: Second annual Our Best To You Craft Sale on now

Red Deerians can expect over 150 artisans, makers and designers

Red Deer RCMP look for James Holley on warrants

Holley is believed to be in possession of firearms

‘Battle of the Badges’ charity hockey game raises funds for Humboldt Broncos

Red Deer Emergency Services and RCMP will play hockey for a good cause

WATCH: ‘Battle of the Badges’ event raises money for Humboldt Broncos

Red Deerians get together at charity hockey tournament April 20th at Servus Arena

‘When everybody leaves: Counselling key to help Humboldt move on after bus crash

Dealing with life after a tragedy can be the worst part following a loss

Half-naked shooter guns down four, runs away in Nashville Waffle House shooting

Nashville police say they are looking for Travis Reinking in connection with the shooting

Child’s body found in river downstream from where boy went missing during flood

Three-year-old Kaden Young was swept out of his mother’s arms in February

Austin Powers ‘Mini-Me’, Verne Troyer, dies at 49

Facebook page confirmed his death Saturday afternoon

Alberta man dead after snowmobile collision on B.C. mountain

The incident occurred on Boulder Mountain Friday morning

Speed Skating Canada fires coach Michael Crowe after investigation

Crowe was a coach on the American team from 1983 to 1991 and again from 1999 to 2006

5 things to know about the ongoing influx of asylum seekers in Canada

Number of illegal border crossings are up this year – as RCMP, military, politicians try to combat

Producer, DJ Avicii found dead at 28

Swedish-born artist Tim Bergling, was found in Muscat, Oman

Most Read