Monday, December 17, 2007

Suicide: The Myth of the Holiday Season

Suicide: The Darkest Myth of the Holiday Season Remains Alive and Well!

Several folks have been asking me about Holiday-related stress, and I have recently heard this reported on the national news, so I want to take the opportunity to clear up a popular myth that surfaces this time of the year. Perhaps it was dear George Bailey from the great movie, "It's a Wonderful Life" who started all of this. Who knows, but this myth resurfaces about this time every year.

Certainly, one can feel a great deal of stress and chaos around the Holidays. As mentioned in an earlier blog, Interpersonal and Domestic violence does increase around the Holiday Season. However, contrary to what you may hear or have read, there is good news here: Depression and suicide rates significantly decrease during this time of the year.

This finding is not just in the United States, but all over most parts of the world. A large body of psychological science continues to confirm this. For a number of years, I often have worked in inpatient psychiatric hospitals during the Holiday Season, and always this is the time of lowest census for the entire year. Although this can be a blue time of the year for many, for most people it is not as bad, and certainly not as depressing as we may have learned to expect.

Please, if you are battling with depression or suicidal thoughts, seek help right away, or continue with the help that you are getting. Don't keep it a secret. The fact is that there is NEVER a good Season for Depression!

Healthy and Holiday Cheers to All!
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