Christmas is, generally, a joyful time, a time when happiness is pushed on us all. But what about when it’s not full of joy? Many people are in situations that others cannot understand or even see that make the holidays a difficult time. Depression is a mental health ailment that will affect almost a tenth of us in our lifetime, and contributes to a fifth of days taken ill off work. So what is Christmastime, the ‘most wonderful time of the year’, like for someone suffering from depression? Charlotte from Discovering Charlotte and Shoestring Chic is here to tell us about her experience with depression in the run up to Christmas.
“Bah Humbug; now that’s too strong!
‘Cause it is my favourite holiday.
But all this year’s been a busy blur
Don’t think I have the energy”
Well doesn’t that just sum up Christmas with depression? This song has been speaking to me this year. Over the past few weeks my Timehop has been reminding me that in the last 4 years I have usually had my tree up by the latest the last week in November, but this year? It might not go up at all.
Let me explain.
I have depression and since coming off my medication earlier this year I feel like I have been on a roller coaster of highs and lows, and at the moment I just feel in an almost constant state of numb. I feel like this year has been a pretty shit year for the world. For me personally there hasn’t been anything too amazing or too bad happen, but towards the end I ignored my mental health and it has left me dreading the festive season.
Christmas is a time when we are all supposed to be having fun. The blogs we read all tell us about the gifts we should be lusting over or buying for our friends. The food we should be making, the Costa drinks we should be buying, and I guess with depression it all just feels a bit much. Trying to push myself into feeling festive has left me feeling even worse about myself and wanting to hide even more.
So what’s the solution?
I am focusing on me. Going back to basics and just taking each day as it comes. So what if my house isn’t decorated from top to toe? So what if I don’t go around the markets this year and drink mulled wine? I really hate the commercialisation of the season anyway. But you know what, come Christmas day when I am sat around the the table with my hubby, parents, brother and grandparents I will feel like the luckiest girl alive … regardless of my depression.
If you are feeling down this December don’t let anyone tell you how you should be feeling. You are not wrong if you don’t feel festive, and you shouldn’t be forced to snap out of it! You just do you and get in touch with me if you need to. No one should ever be alone in this.
If you are suffering with depression or just need someone to talk to, remember that you are never alone. There are many resources online and in the ‘real world’ available to you to give support and advice. The mental health charity Mind offer support and multiple helplines for all the assistance you might need surrounding mental health issues, whether you are a sufferer yourself or someone trying to help someone else.
You can visit Charlotte’s blogs at Discovering Charlotte (lifestyle, chronic illness, food) and Shoestring Chic (budget fashion, charity shopping), and find her on Twitter and Instagram at both @discoveringcharlotte and @shoestringchicblog.
Read the rest of my Blogmas posts here!