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Does Valentine's Day Cause Depression?
Depression is a Problem for People of All Ages
The world is a dark place to live in, and mental illnesses of all types are becoming more common. Whether this is due (at least in part) to over-diagnosis and eager pharmaceutical companies is something which can be debated until the end of time, but the fact remains that depression in particular may be traceable to specific external causes. As with many mental illnesses, stimuli affect the suffering individual. Valentine's Day is one of the factors involved in causing depression in teenagers and adults as a result of increased feelings of loneliness during first the holiday season and then in February at Valentine's Day.
Suicide is preventable when treatment for depression is sought, but depression itself may also be preventable if we work to ensure that those most at risk aren't triggered in the first place. Parents and teachers have a responsibility with young people, and friends and family should always be aware of susceptible adults to make sure that an outlet is available and that the person suffering from depression (or potentially suffering from depression) knows that there is someone available who cares about them. If we can prevent people from feeling lonely at Valentine's Day (and other holidays) we may be able to change these terrifying statistics.
Why Holidays Like Valentine's Day Cause Loneliness
As obvious as the answer to this question may be to some people, there are those who don't quite understand why Valentine's Day and other holidays cause loneliness and depression. During Valentine's Day (season) in particular, single people are surrounded by reminders of the holiday. The stores are decked out in red and pink, with hearts everywhere. Teddy bears adorned with the message "Be Mine!" line the shelves and the card aisles are full of Valentine's Day cards intended for lovers to give to one another as an expression of their affection. Singles don't have anyone to express love and affection for them, and this may lead to loneliness in those spending the holiday alone.
Are You Single This Valentine's Day?
Valentine's Day Isolates Singles
Valentine's Day is often spent with couples parading their love for one another. To lonely singles (and particularly the recently-made-single) this may cause feelings of despair. It's difficult to be the one waiting on the outskirts while friends receive roses at the office or at school and you're the only one not on the receiving end of such gifts. The resulting feelings of isolation may contribute to depression, a dangerous condition which can end in suicide if the depression isn't appropriately treated. The goal, therefore, needs to be to be inclusive of singles on Valentine's Day.
Isolation Leads to Depression
The isolation that singles feel on Valentine's Day may lead to depression. When a single person has nobody to turn to during a feeling of intense or prolonged loneliness, it's harder for them to make it through the depression that they're facing. One of most important components in treating depression is talk therapy, and even having a friend or family member available to talk to during a period of depression can make a real difference. Unfortunately, at this time of year the couples are often too busy with one another to acknowledge their single friends, further compounding the problem of isolation and depression.
Being there for someone who is in need may help to prevent a suicide. It's your responsibility, whether you are single or involved with someone, to be available to your friends. Valentine's Day is a single day out of a year: You should be loving your romantic partner year-round. Be careful of the feelings of the important people in your life and that you continue to acknowledge those feelings, because if you fail to do so, you could lose quite a bit.
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- 6 Exciting Ways to Celebrate Self-Love for Singles on Valentine's Day
If you don't have somebody to spend Valentine's Day with this year, why not spend it celebrating all the things you love about yourself? After all, this is the greatest love of all.
Singles Should Celebrate Self-Love for Valentine's Day
Friends and family do have a particular responsibility to their single friends or relatives, but singles themselves should be mindful of their own feelings and find a way to celebrate self-love this Valentine's Dy. Most people want to be in a romantic relationship with another person, but that doesn't mean that singles can't find a way to celebrate self-love for Valentine's Day, too. If loving yourself becomes the primary purpose of Valentine's Day, you at least have a method of boosting your own self-esteem without needing somebody else to validate you.
Please do understand, however, that external validation is a necessity for many people, who need to know that they are valued by someone else in their lives. Romantic love isn't the only kind of love that can be celebrated on Valentine's Day: Fraternal and paternal love are wonderful ways of making someone feel valued this year.
February 14th is on a Friday this year. Teachers should be highly aware of the condition of their student's emotions when leaving school for the weekend. Lonely teenagers without support over a weekend could increase the risk of suicide!
Suicide Rates Rise at Valentine's Day
Suicide rates rise on Valentine's Day as a result of loneliness and depression caused by being forced to see the mushy affairs of couples on February 14th. You need look no further than the number of calls that come in to suicide hotlines at Valentine's Day. It's difficult to be the one who's single, and some singles may be put off by going to work or to school on a day when everyone is receiving flowers, teddy bears and candy grams. High school students in particular might struggle with seeing their friends pampered and loved for Valentine's Day while they are left out. Given the egocentric nature of most teenagers, there may be fewer people to support them. Teachers should be prepared for Valentine's Day to support their students.
Don't leave anyone lonely and desperate on Valentine's Day, if you can help it. If one of your friends or a family member calls you to say that they're depressed, take the phone call and talk to them for as long as they need to talk. Your own Valentine will surely understand if you must protect someone you love from themselves.
You should also do whatever you can to help prevent passive bullying this year on Valentine's Day.
© 2014 Becki Rizzuti