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The 2014 SAD / Holiday Depression Discussion Thread

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posted on Nov, 26 2014 @ 02:40 PM

As Thanksgiving is merely a day away, now - the US Holiday season is officially beginning. Many other nations, around the world are also gearing up for their own Holiday seasons as well. This is an exciting and busy time for just about everyone. But while many people refer to this period as "the best time of the year", sadly there are those of us who, try as we might, have a hard time feeling the same way. People with depression, people who are isolated, people who have lost loved ones, people with Seasonal Affective Disorder and others find themselves in a very different place during this season. People suffering during the Holidays tend to bottle it up and hold it in, not wanting to ruin the joy and fun for those around them. While noble, this is a very unhealthy approach for the individual doing so.

Therefore this thread exists to provide some support for those who fall into the above categories - or anyone who is having a difficult time with the season. This is a safe place to come and discuss our pains, offer comfort to one another, and to survive the season as a group - as a surrogate family. A safe place to let it all out without fear of judgment or of ruining the season for others. A place to share our shared experiences.

While the site rules and common sense indicate that we ( ATS collectively ) are not in a position to diagnose or cure others. We certainly can provide a mutual support system for one another. We can share are own coping mechanisms ( as long as they are legal everywhere ) and the little things we've discovered that help us to feel better during the coming weeks.

We can come here to vent our feelings instead of bottling them up and hoping they do not leak out before New Years is a memory.

So please do not be shy or reserved. You are among friends who do care and who do understand what you are going through. You are not alone. not by a longshot. Me, and many others are right there with you. So, please, if you find yourself having a difficult time - please feel free to come here and say so.

Together we will all make it through this and possibly teach one another to find means of enjoying a season that normally is Hell on Earth for some of us.

I hope and pray that today marks the beginning of a better Yuletide for many of us here than we are accustomed to.


posted on Nov, 26 2014 @ 02:51 PM
Beautiful thread authored by a beautiful soul and amazing man. Thanks, Heff. I'm quite sure this will come in very useful and helpful to those who will need an ear, place to vent, etc. It's always good to know one isn't alone - I've found out that 9 times out of ten, those online are closer and more understanding and caring and loving than one's own blood relations. Though it's sad for the latter, it's golden to know there are those who honestly care.

So thank you for making this. I'm sure I'll be on this one a LOT, both giving love, an ear and support to those who need it AND letting off my own feelings as well. Having a great place to vent is priceless.

You creating this avenue is priceless as well.

posted on Nov, 26 2014 @ 02:55 PM
a reply to: Hefficide

Thanks heff as I find myself just wanting to die during this time every year.
I wish my family members would just get along, I cant stand how clicky my family is, its like their all in high school still.
Thanks again heff, its nice to know theres is a place I can go to and talk about it.
Im really hoping I dont get judged in here because I said I want to die, dont get me wrong I would never commit suicide, I just wish I would die.


posted on Nov, 26 2014 @ 03:06 PM
a reply to: Lichter daraus

Expressing exasperation is fine! The rule you are referring to is specific to people making direct or leading indirect statements of intent. Feeling like one wants to die is part of many things we go through in life, from the stages of grief, depression, loss, fear, etc.

You're good! And welcome aboard. We'll be here all the way through the Holidays! Feel free to post anytime.

Also, to you and anyone else, my inbox is always open.

posted on Nov, 26 2014 @ 03:09 PM
Thank you...


posted on Nov, 26 2014 @ 03:13 PM
This is the first Thanksgiving I will spend without my father. So far I have kept pretty busy and it has helped keep my mind off of it, but tomorrow when (for the first time) I will cook Thanksgiving dinner for my mom at my house so she is not left alone or expected to do it all alone... I feel it will hit me like a Mac truck.

For the first time in 37 years... There will be an empty chair at my Thanksgiving table.

I may drop by or cry by I'm not sure.

Thanks Heff. The holidays are a hard time for most of us who do suffer naturally with depression through the year... The holidays just gouge on the gas pedal for some reason. It was thoughtful of you to start this thread for others. And I am not surprised by that at all. You're a good person.

edit on 11/26/2014 by Kangaruex4Ewe because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 26 2014 @ 03:21 PM
a reply to: Kangaruex4Ewe

Kangareus *long long long loving hugs* I am so sorry you have to face this. It's never easy losing a beloved family member and it is magnified a million fold at holidays. I wish I could take your pain from you - hell, I wish we could keep our loved ones with us for all of time...... in a way I think we do, though. I think our loved ones are always with us, in spirit, in memories; they show their presence to us in their own ways (a fave song, a certain scent, etc).... if they are a beloved parent, part of them is in and with us constantly whether born from them or adopted into their family. Remember the good times this holiday season as you all gather. Laugh, grieve, but remember. That's the best healing.

Love, love, love to you and your family. Love is what gives us hope, love is what heals. Love is what makes us strong in difficult times. And you're loved here. Know this.

posted on Nov, 26 2014 @ 03:22 PM
a reply to: Hefficide

Hey Heff good idea...I think we had something like this last xmas and we can meet in chat too....I live in a place now where thanksgiving isnt celebrated so ill have a turkey sandwich and be online!

posted on Nov, 26 2014 @ 03:29 PM
Nice idea. It's hard for many people to understand how anyone can feel depressed this time of year (But it's the holidays!). Hopefully people will turn to friends (here or in real life) so they don't feel so alone.

Kang- I'm sorry for your loss. The first big holiday is always the hardest. I take comfort (even now 14 years later) from simply lighting a candle for my loved one. I let it burn all day, sort of in memory (gone but never forgotten). I take comfort from that. Might help you too. It's good that you will be there for your mom.

posted on Nov, 26 2014 @ 03:33 PM
a reply to: Hefficide

Thanks heff, it makes me feel good to know that someone that doesn't even know me is there for me and others.
It really sucks feeling alone even with people all around me, but this thread will definitely take some of that loneliness away for me. Your a really awesome guy heff im glad your around and I really mean that.


posted on Nov, 26 2014 @ 03:38 PM
a reply to: Lichter daraus

You're a person just like we all are and we all deserve to feel cherished, cared for, never alone and appreciated. All of that and more will be given in this thread.

this is a gorgeous gift from John.
I'm glad he made this thread.

posted on Nov, 26 2014 @ 03:39 PM
Good idea for a thread. For many years I dreaded holidays as my fiance passed away while we were on a holiday. The mere mention of the the word holiday would give me butterflies in my stomach and I would instantly go back to the accident and relive it. Even now I usually refuse to go on holidays or allow my wife and kids to go. Some years I didn't even take my annual leave from work as I was by myself and had bad memories and no one to go away with anyway.
Things are obviously much better now. I think my story may be a little different from those who are lonely and depressed but I have been there too. No one has to be lonely on ATS. You are a very thoughtful guy Heff.

posted on Nov, 26 2014 @ 03:42 PM
a reply to: Kangaruex4Ewe

Thanks for sharing that. My first year without mom. She passed June 5th from pancreatic cancer. And now I am primary care giver for dad, moms former job. He has advanced dementia so I just usually try to tune out feelings, makes life easier, kind of like you mentioned Heff.

At least I can be numb now without chemicals. Funny, you can get good at it with years of practice.

Ok, starting to feel, I'm out.

Thanks for the thread Heff

posted on Nov, 26 2014 @ 03:48 PM
a reply to: Hefficide

John, you have no idea how poigniant this topic is right now for me and how ironic the subject is at the moment.

I used to unknowingly suffer big time from S.A.D., or "winter blues" particularly when I came here to France to live in the middle of nowhere. After doing some research and understanding more about it, it became much less of a problem and almost dissappeared because the mystery had been revealed and changes to my lifestyle helped. I undersand there is the chemical side to why it happens but the mental effects just faded away with the knowledge I learned and the physical effects are kept well in check. I have not suffered for many years now and remember discussing this revelation with my family at the time and have done since.

Fast forward 10 years.....long story short....I have incredible grief happening around me at the moment due to uncontrollable influences and life is a bottomless pit of poo. I am clinging on and trying not to slide deeper every day. I have told my family all about why life stinks and have done regularly for a few years now. Then out of the blue a few days ago, I get a message from my mother saying she has spoken to my sister and between them they have decided the reason I currently feel so low is because of S.A.D.
and my mother has ordered a special lamp from Amazon to help cope with the disorder.

I was fuming at the time and stunned that they had come to that conclusion after everything we have discussed regarding my life. A phone call would have revealed that S.A.D. was nothing to do with how I currently feel. I know they meant well but I am deeply upset at their ignorance.

I am left with the knowledge that everything I have told them about my life situation which is the culmination of a few years of grief has gone in one ear and out the other to be replaced with something they think can be cured with a box of light.

I have great sympathy for those who suffer S.A.D., especially if they do not know they are a sufferer, but do not confuse this ailment with something else because other problems should not be missed or ignored at the cost of a quick and often ignorant diagnosis.

Life sucks right now and I am SAD not S.A.D. Family can hurt far more than friends or strangers.

Be well you lot, we are here for you.....SAD or S.A.D.

posted on Nov, 26 2014 @ 03:54 PM
a reply to: nerbot

Oh man. I know how you feel there; it's like you feel you have opened up and got a lot off your mind, loved ones now know how you feel and why you feel - then they turn around and (though a SAD light is amazing!) do something which makes you feel they never truly LISTENED. And I'm both horrified and so sorry that happened. I have been there a lot and know how it feels, definitely. Nothing like letting things out, having what you think is a good understanding ear and when you're done speaking, it's like they turn around and go 'What was that you were saying again? I'm sorry. I was thinking about xyz. But hey, I have a fix for you!" and it's completely non related to anything you just said.

I'm sure a lot of us can relate to this - but it doesn't stop the sting of it happening. Love and long hugs to you. I hope you will find peace and serenity in the light of what is going on in your personal life.

posted on Nov, 26 2014 @ 03:58 PM
Thank you very much. I'm suffering with SAD and have lost two people very dear to me in the last month. I have people around me who love me so I am thankful for that. But I don't always want to burden them with how I'm feeling. God bless everyone who is feeling sad and alone this holiday season. Peace.a reply to: Hefficide

edit on 26-11-2014 by PaigeD because: wrong emoji

posted on Nov, 26 2014 @ 03:59 PM
a reply to: nerbot

I've gone through a lot in the past year and one of the blessings that came of it all is that my family finally began to understand the facts behind the issues I've had. Before the past year it was always "man up" and the like. They had no clue about brain chemistry or mental illness. They believed it was a choice.

Any mental health professional worth their salt will tell you that you know more about what you're going through than anyone else. So don't let their misunderstanding upset or sidetrack you. Their intentions seem loving at least.

FTR my life falling to pieces was what triggered things for me, and sent me spiralling. The silver lining is that until I spiralled I never fully addressed the truth about my own problems and had spent a very long time miserable. Now I understand things and have a much better grasp upon who I am and how to cope with my issues.

I hate to quote movies but will make an exception here.... We fall down to learn how to get back up.

I wish you the best in the coming weeks!

posted on Nov, 26 2014 @ 04:00 PM
a reply to: stosh64

Stosh, I'm so sorry about the loss of your mother. That is always so hard to bear and now with you stepping up to care for your father, it shows how strong and loving you are. It is very difficult to handle one of those, but to have to handle both.... you are a saint and a good person. Dementia is not easy to deal with, not at all.

But I would like to say (and you can take this or leave this, of course) that bottling feelings isn't good to do for too long. Venting here is a good start in letting things off your back slowly. I've found personally that letting things simmer or stay deep within just does more harm than good in the long run. I like to remind myself and others that no matter how severe the downpour is, the sun still shines even behind the darkest of clouds and it can't rain all the time.

Unless one is in Ireland, then that's another tale - but even a light misting rain can be beautiful if one chooses to look at it that way.

But listen; you take the time to grieve for your mother as long as you need to. There is no timer on grief. Ever. And give your daddy all the love and patience you can. But DO take time for you as well. You are the one busting butt 24/7 and all that you are doing is definitely emotionally taxing - so take time for you. 'You time' is so so so so SO vital and necessary. If it's listening to some relaxing music, taking a walk, watching a silly movie, drawing, making music - whatever you can do to keep your inner passions and drives alive and going, DO it. even if it's a few minutes a day, do it. You are caring for your daddy, but you still need to pamper yourself as well.

posted on Nov, 26 2014 @ 04:13 PM
Don't be SAD. Eat some potatoes with plenty of real butter and it will cheer you up.

Thin sliced potatoes fried in BACON grease with a little garlic salt, salt, and pepper do wonders too.

posted on Nov, 26 2014 @ 04:23 PM
I am looking forward to celebrating Festivus for the third year in a row.

With two girls in the house I'm a lock to win "Feats of Strength" this year.

Of course the girls will destroy me with the traditional "Airing Of Grievances".

When you have just had enough.

Its Festivus for the Rest of Us.

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