An interview story of a young girl suffering from Christmas depression
Christmas is, for most of the young people, a holiday for partying, for celebrating, and for blessing. Last year, however, Christmas has hit Chris seriously with depression and stress.
Christmas was a holiday representing joy, warmth and celebration to Chris too before. She had never thought of this happy holiday could be a source of her depression and stress as well. She would like to share her story with us to raise the awareness of Christmas depression and its impact.
Chris is a 20-year-old girl from an extended family who must celebrate Christmas with the entire family every year. They usually have a Christmas party in auntie’s house and celebrate with a delicious Christmas dinner as well as Christmas gift exchanging. Things had been changed for their last Christmas because Chris’s father had been fired due to the company’s financial downturn. Chris was told most of her pocket money would be cut and some of her personal savings was taken to afford the necessities and bills. She had cut all the friends’ gathering, leisure activities and started finding jobs to secure her family’s financial balance. She and her parents were under much financial pressure and psychological stress.
Although they could still make a living, they were under much stress and depression because they felt ashamed to tell other family members and friends their difficulties. Chris could not tell how many times she had already been crying and woke up with tears in the mid of night. She mentioned that days were the worst day ever in her life and felt like that was the end of the world because she could not see the future. Especially because of the Christmas approaching, her family worried a lot for the struggle in affording the high expenses during Christmas month.
However, the inconsideration from other family members and friends hit them more seriously during Christmas period. Chris and her parents were blamed for the lack of effort contributing in their party such as purchasing Christmas decoration, foods and gifts. They were especially ashamed and hopeless and felt they were losers in front of their beloved. Chris was also stressed because of her friends’ blaming about her absence of gathering and rejection of party invitation.
‘I rushed into tears in front of all family members and ran to the street. I couldn’t help crying on a Christmas street full of happy faces and Christmas celebration.’ Chris burst out when she were challenged by family members for the worse performance in academic and the decision of doing part-time job. She thought she could get support from her loved family and friends but she did not. She said she had a second of the idea of suicide come up in mind because she believed her difficulties were not cared by everyone.
Luckily her parents and some of the family members came and found her and talked with her for long. Other family members promised to give their family support and help after understanding their difficulties. Chris was also encouraged to explain to and seek support from friends and consultant as well, which is a critical point for her to relieve from the psychological problem.
Christ mentioned that although Christmas could bring people joy, it could bring stress as well, especially for those who are having financial difficulties. She emphasizes support and love from the beloved is significantly important to relieve sufferer from stress. She suggests people who find themselves having difficulties must seek help from the professionals and talk to somebody in order to solve the problem both financially and psychologically before it getting more serious.
Chris’s story has told us the problem of Christmas stress could be serious and common. If you find you are having similar problem, you are not the only one and should not feel ashamed. Instead, you should seek help from professionals such as BeyondBlue Australia: www.beyondblue.org.au.