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Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:20 AM

Why do people experience depression at this time of year??

Is it because so many ask for and get so much and so many ask for so little and get nothing?

I think that may be the cause but the result is what is more depressing to me personally. We don't care. Your kid may get a new X-Box but my kid wants a new bike. Your kid gets the new X-Box but my kid doesn't get the new bike, because I cannot afford it.

In my opinion, this has a severe Karmic effect on our society. No, you should not surrender your wants and desires simply because others cannot have the same. You may have worked hard and saved to have those Christmas presents.

However, those that cannot afford them experience anger and depression moreso than at any other time of the year. There are more family fights. There are more suicides. There is more societal break-up. It is the bottom line, bargain price of capitalism.

It usually helps with the depression to know what is causing it.

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Reply Why do people experience depression at this time of year?? (Original post)
kentuck Nov 2012 OP
Brickbat Nov 2012 #1
elehhhhna Nov 2012 #2
kentuck Nov 2012 #4
orpupilofnature57 Nov 2012 #7
area51 Nov 2012 #22
dkf Nov 2012 #3
orpupilofnature57 Nov 2012 #6
sammytko Nov 2012 #18
Sadiedog Nov 2012 #43
orpupilofnature57 Nov 2012 #5
hobbit709 Nov 2012 #8
MrScorpio Nov 2012 #9
Brainstormy Nov 2012 #10
aletier_v Nov 2012 #26
lunatica Nov 2012 #11
wandy Nov 2012 #20
fishwax Nov 2012 #32
lunatica Nov 2012 #40
laundry_queen Nov 2012 #35
ewagner Nov 2012 #12
Siwsan Nov 2012 #13
Nay Nov 2012 #16
Siwsan Nov 2012 #17
MindPilot Nov 2012 #30
slackmaster Nov 2012 #31
bhikkhu Nov 2012 #46
dkf Nov 2012 #14
Walk away Nov 2012 #15
Lucky Luciano Nov 2012 #21
FarCenter Nov 2012 #19
Sadiedog Nov 2012 #44
darkangel218 Nov 2012 #23
liberal N proud Nov 2012 #24
aletier_v Nov 2012 #25
pnwest Nov 2012 #27
aletier_v Nov 2012 #28
MindPilot Nov 2012 #34
Zoeisright Nov 2012 #29
ann--- Nov 2012 #33
Zorra Nov 2012 #36
Tsiyu Nov 2012 #37
libodem Nov 2012 #38
grasswire Nov 2012 #39
RagAss Nov 2012 #41
Populist_Prole Nov 2012 #42
Whovian Nov 2012 #45
RepublicansRZombies Nov 2012 #47

Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:22 AM

1. It's the pressure to feel happy when you don't.

It's not necessarily about being able to afford something. It can also be getting what you want and still not feeling happy.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:24 AM

2. homesick, longing for times/people long gone,

and crazy expectations to make it all"nice" etc.

my list, anyway

not stresssed about money as in the past few years...but that falls under expectations



gratitude practiced consistently and on purpose helps alot.

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Response to elehhhhna (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:26 AM

4. Thanks elehhhhna.

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Response to elehhhhna (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:29 AM

7. +1000

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Response to elehhhhna (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:31 AM

22. +1

Relentless media drumming about how we should all be happy and should be having an idealized Norman Rockwell "family holiday experience" when reality is much different.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:25 AM

3. Isn't it more related to lack of vitamin D and sunlight?

 

If people are depressed over "stuff" that is depressing.

Now if they were depressed because they dont have enough to eat or have a terminal health condition that is understandable. But if its because you can't buy a big screen TV then most of the world's inhabitants should be depressed.

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Response to dkf (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:28 AM

6. I agree .

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Response to dkf (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:56 AM

18. Yes. It's the weather for me. I need the sun.

Hate blah days.

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Response to dkf (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 03:09 PM

43. I think that is a part of it at least for me.

I moved from a cold but sunny climate to a moderate but rainy and overcast one and it has taken me years to adjust!

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:26 AM

5. Looking outward and not inward, transfixed on an illusion of

happiness .

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:30 AM

8. My circle of family and friends is getting smaller.

Sometimes I feel like the old Texicalli Grill t-shirt "Too stupid to stop"

I keep going because there is no other choice. Life has gotten to be a habit.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:30 AM

9. They're depressed because YOU brought it up

It's hard to realize, but there it is.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:31 AM

10. not always materialism

I worked in the county guardian's office in Cobb County Georgia for 14 years managing the property and sometimes the persons of incapacitated adults who were wards of the court. Most of them were merely aged, having outlived family and suffering from dementia and physical problems and requiring nursing home care. Just before Thanksgiving each year the deaths began and my holiday work schedule became the business of arranging funerals and burials. Every year this continued through New Year's. I'm convinced it was an awareness that they were alone and the emphasis on friends and family that the holidays bring made this very acute. It isn't "stuff" that makes people want to live.

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Response to Brainstormy (Reply #10)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:01 AM

26. " It isn't "stuff" that makes people want to live"

Obviously you missed the Walmart Black Friday videos.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:33 AM

11. Your diagnosis shows little understanding of what depression really is

People get depressed during the holidays because they've experienced horrible family dynamics for years during their childhoods during the holidays. Corporations are telling you how wonderful life is and all you can do is remember the family fights or the family crimes of abuse and neglect that you suffered.

Not getting what you want for Christmas is minor. Having lived through the Christmases from Hell is what can send people into clinical depression, if you're already prone to get depressed through a chemical imbalance in your brain.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #11)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:24 AM

20. I think I'll go along with you on this...........

Over most of my life, if something bad was going to happen it happened in the November December time frame.
The Thanksgiving turkey was a funeral meal far FAR too many times.
It's not exactly deep dark depression, still it's there.
It has nothing to do with getting stuff. Hell, I could find a free new car in the driveway covered in lights and ornaments, it would make no difference.
My response to merry Christmas would still be Bah Humbug.
Funny thing is that by the second week of January it's like it never happened.

Oh well, just stay busy.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #11)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:23 AM

32. Having lived through Christmases from Hell can certainly prompt depression. But it isn't the only

thing that can. There are people who may not have suffered such horrible family dynamics who also deal with depression (especially around the holidays) for a variety of reasons.

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Response to fishwax (Reply #32)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:36 PM

40. I agree

Depression is an illness too. But I think Christmas itself doesn't trigger that kind of depression. Those folks suffer from it any and all the time and need medical help.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #11)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:38 AM

35. I was going to post this too

I have a toxic family. Thankfully they love the holidays and do try to make it a happy time, but inevitably, there are toxic comments and too much drinking and I find myself with the worst stress headaches afterwards, dealing with their toxic sludge and alcoholism. I'm already prone to anxiety and depression (and vitamin D deficiency) - this just adds to it. I will say though, I'm lucky to have kids that I can concentrate on and that makes the holidays really special. If I didn't have them, I don't know WHAT I'd do.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)


Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:35 AM

13. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

It was a big problem up in Iceland, where we had 20 hours of darkness during the winter, and 24 hours of light during the summer. The lack of sunshine during the winter really wigged people out, and far too much daylight in the summer messed with sleep patterns. We used to have people show up at the clinic at 7pm because they thought they overslept their alarms, and there was no way to tell, by looking out the window, if it was day or night.

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Response to Siwsan (Reply #13)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:45 AM

16. I second the idea that it's SAD. As I've gotten older, I've noticed that I really, really hate the

winter. I take Vitamin D all year round so it's not a lack of Vitamin D, but right around now on the calendar I start to long for spring. Winter does nothing for me personally. I do like the holidays (I don't have hideous family dynamics that mess the holidays up for me) and am not eaten up with buying/giving/receiving gifts and I'm not a shop-til-u-drop person, so I can enjoy the food, the tree, etc. But I'm always thinking about spring. Gardens. Flowers. Green grass.

One good thing about winter is that you can see the birds in the trees (I'm a birder.) But that's not enough!

A friend of mine at work always gets measurably depressed this time of year from SAD. I tried to talk her into getting one of those light thingies to help her, but I don't think she ever did.

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Response to Nay (Reply #16)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:52 AM

17. I've never been a big fan of snow and cold, but I do love to watch the birds

I'm on a mission to find my big bucket of birdseed and fill the feeders - it's got to be here, somewhere. The birds are getting impatient with me! I half expect to hear them ringing my doorbell.

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Response to Siwsan (Reply #13)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:12 AM

30. yep, the short days do it for me

Dark when I leave for work, dark when I come home. Asleep on the couch before Rachel is done; and despite hours of sleep, no energy. Every little thing that needs to be done becomes an overwhelming chore.

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Response to Siwsan (Reply #13)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:14 AM

31. Yes indeed. Short days and long nights are always hard on me.

 

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Response to Siwsan (Reply #13)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 03:18 PM

46. Yes, its mostly a biological response to the environment

...and then we cook up narratives to rationalize it, and perhaps culturally we come up with Thanksgivings and Christmasses to counteract it, somewhat.

You can see a variety of the same mechanism in teenagers, if you happen to have any around. Its perfectly ordinary to have unbalanced and unpredictable chemical conditions in the developing brain, often showing up as "bad moods". Then, an individual suffering from them will often blame the bad mood itself on some external condition which was no issue at all when she was in a "good mood". Sometimes the bad mood will be blamed on things which weren't even present until after the bad mood (etc...), but the point is that often we experience things for no particular reason other than random biology, but then we come up with narratives for why we experience them that make us feel good.

So we are somewhat addicted to pat explanations and convenient narratives, we are averse to uncertainty in spite of understanding very little (as individuals), and then we are really not nearly as good at seeing the "why" of anything as we think we are.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:38 AM

14. From "The Richest Man in Babylon"

 

Now I will tell thee an unusual truth about men and sons of men. It is this: That what each of us calls our "necessary expenses" will always grow to equal our incomes unless we protest to the contrary.

Confuse not the necessary expenses with thy desires. Each of you, together with your good families, have more desires than your earnings can gratify. Therefore are thy earnings spent to gratify these desires insofar as they go. Still thou retainest many ungratified desires.

http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2006/04/the_richest_man_8.html

Moral of the story...you will never make enough to afford all of your desires. If that depresses a person, it will be a lifelong depression.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:44 AM

15. Lonely people or people who feel disconnected from others suffer from depression....

even more at this time of year because of expectations (society's and/or their own) of family and happiness that can't be realized. Imagine how much it hurts someone who (for whatever reason) has no friends and family to go through the holidays alone while the rest of the world loudly and brightly celebrates the glories of togetherness. Add a dusting of Seasonal Affective Disorder and you have a holiday nightmare.

I suppose your theory of people being jealous of other people's toys could also be true but I have never heard of that being a major cause of suicide.

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Response to Walk away (Reply #15)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:30 AM

21. This makes the most sense.

I would hate to be lonely during the holidays while everybody else enjoys friends, significant others, and family. I would be depressed if I woke up on the holiday morning and it simply felt like a lonely Saturday.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:20 AM

19. Its the conflict

Extroverts get dissed by people the want to associate with.
Introverts feel pressured to associate with people they dislike.

Generous people feel pressured to go into debt for presents they can't afford.
Thrifty people feel pressured to spend more than they want to.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #19)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 03:14 PM

44. Hmmm. interesting! nt

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:44 AM

23. I think its because holidays make us think about our loved ones

And some of us don't have family around, or have dear ones who have passed and we miss them

I for one can't wait for January 1, this holiday season its been a tough one in particular.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:51 AM

24. The reasons are as many as people who suffer.

Financial
Jobs
Family
Relationships
Loneliness
Losses

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:59 AM

25. Seasonal Affective Disorder

I.E. Lack of sunshine.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:02 AM

27. i have to go with kentuck on this one. while i try my

best to enjoy the holidays, I usually breathe a HUGE sigh of relief come January 2nd. My not being able to afford to lavish gifts on everyone I love makes me feel like a terrible failure, and terribly guilty. It is only with clenched-jawed, white-knuckled, steely determination that I make it through the holidays most years.

Some years I have been surrounded with family and friends, and the desperate pressure to put on a fabulous holiday display leaves me broke, angry and resentful. Some years I have been too broke to give more than a phone call to a single solitary soul, and felt like an abject failure as a human. Some years I've been utterly alone and the silent crushing loneliness was maddening. Sometimes when I am given something amazing and beautiful and awesome as a gift, I feel again like a failure for not reciprocating in kind.

And then there's the obligation gifts. I get really angry when people take up a collection in the office for a gift for the boss, and the show offs who drop a 20 in the basket look at me sideways for giving 3, or nothing at all. It doesn't alleviate the sideways looks to explain that I don't want to HAVE to give a gift to someone, gifting is not supposed to he an obligation, especially when I can't afford to give to anyone else that year.

And lastly, the whole ugly, greedy commercialism of it all depresses me, too. The gimme, gimme, buy, buy, buy, of it all is just so sad and ugly and utterly opposite of what Christmas is supposed to be.

Not every year is a screaming struggle to maintain sanity. Sometimes I do manage to find the balance, and have a less stressful season. But I am ALWAYS glad when its over.

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Response to pnwest (Reply #27)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:10 AM

28. I ditched all of it ten years ago

I don't remember being depressed about gifts and spending
but I remember the crowds and parking lots

and buying a tree
and carting it home
and putting it up
and decorating it
and taking it down
and dragging it out

over
and over
and over again.

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Response to aletier_v (Reply #28)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:32 AM

34. +1000! I always disliked the whole tree thing.

Mostly because it always seemed as if while everyone participated in the the selection, set-up and decoration, I, and I alone ended up with getting the messy dried-up fire hazard out of the house and to some disposal site. Secondly I really wasn't cool with the whole let's cut down a tree and bring into the house to watch it die scenario.

Years ago my wife and I compromised on a live tree in a big pot. That lasted exactly one year, since she neglected to care for said potted tree during the off season. (That was the deal; I would allow the tree in the house; she had to take care of it.) After we were divorced, I planted the messy dried-up fire hazard in the back yard not expecting it to live. That tree is now a good thirty feet tall and has even produced a couple saplings that are almost a foot tall.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:12 AM

29. SAD is one reason.

Less daylight has something to do with it. It's also usually comparing your "insides" with everyone else's "outsides." The media is full of images of incredibly happy people and families. If you aren't happy, if you don't have a family, if you think everyone else is doing well and you have lots of problems, that can add to depression.

I don't think that wanting things you can't have is the cause of it. Unless, of course, it's a job with a decent wage.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:30 AM

33. It may also be that

people have no one close to them to share the holidays that society, the media, the stores advertise as the best time of the year.
I really do get sad for those people and sort of wish the holidays were over - for them.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:47 AM

36. This society is based in a materialistic illusion. This causes hopelessness and subsequent

depression.


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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:08 PM

37. For some, because we're desperately broke


While others argue over what is the correct thing to buy, some can't buy anything.

The feeling of being "left out" is tough for some people, even if they don't have crazy families and they get enough sunlight.

Of course, you don't need money to celbrate a holiday, but the season's messages don't share that fact: Buy Buy Buy for Baby Jesus...


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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:38 PM

38. May we be free of our desires and expectations

It is inversely proportional to our unhappiness.

You heard it here first.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:26 PM

39. "Backward, turn backward, O time in your flight...

...Make me a child again, just for tonight."

I always miss my childhood family. Fifteen cousins, the grandparents' huge stone house, the uncles home from the war, the food and the fun and all of it. Thirteen of those cousins are still here and we see each other in early January. But it's not the same as those delicious Christmases.

And I miss my parents terribly.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 02:50 PM

41. Vitamin D storage in the tissues and brain are down...

Take 10,000 iu's a day of D3....and hopefully you read this before it is hidden by jury for giving advice on health issues.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 03:05 PM

42. I dunno. I actually like LIKE this time of year best

I actually get outside and get active more owing to the milder weather. I get more sun and can work or play hard without sweating very much at all and the cool crisp air feels wonderful to me. It's my time to really live and enjoy life. Mid-may through late september is too hot/humid for me to be any more active outside than I absolutely must be.

Mid fall is like a more colorful spring without all the damned pollen. In fact spring to me gives me that sunday evening feeling I had as a kid: The feeling of dread of school the next day ruins the pleasure of having the day off. That is; I'm comfortable but I know the heat of summer is winding up the for the one-two punch that will soon kick my ass and make me hate life.



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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 03:14 PM

45. For many, it is a memory of a childhood long past

 

When Santa was real, there were wonderful presents under the tree and nothing but familial love. Decades later in rough economic times many are having trouble buying enough food to eat and keeping a roof over their head.

This is only one of many reasons for SADD, and a sad reality for far too many.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 03:20 PM

47. besides the emotional aspects of the season, the sudden drop in daylight causes Serotonin issues

 

A theory....

"Serotonin is an important chemical in the brain known as a neurotransmitter. A neurotransmitter is a molecule in the brain that helps nerve cells to work together. One of the roles serotonin has in the brain is to act as a traffic cop to other neurotransmitters. Without enough available serotonin, a range of body functions is affected, including mood.

When light passes through the eyes into the brain, serotonin is released. During the fall and winter, there is less daylight than in the spring and summer, which causes a drop in the body's serotonin levels.

Less daylight is a trigger for the body to increase production of another hormone -- melatonin. Melatonin is thought to help in the sleep process. The body naturally releases it both at night when there is less daylight and during sleep. Exposure to bright light at night can inhibit the release of melatonin.

Together, the lack of serotonin (which helps nerve cells cooperate) and the increase in melatonin (which puts a body to sleep) can trigger symptoms of SAD."

http://ibdcrohns.about.com/od/mentalhealth/a/sad.htm

I feel this every year and have come to expect it. Knowing it is natural I just roll with it. Although it is still Winter and cold in January and February, I can feel my mood pick up after Winter Solstice, the days start getting longer and everything starts looking up.

I think it is so common, we should have more of an awareness campaign to help prevent suicide. If people just realized it was a passing phase that everyone felt, they would more easily accept temporary depression and not feel the need to act on it. There have been five suicides in my area in recent months.

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