Posted on: Saturday, October 26th, 2019
Halloween is a time to dress up, have fun, and put on a false persona in the spirit of the season; but don’t mask your mental health! While the theme of mystery, darkness, tricks and treats can be fun for some, it can have a traumatic effect on those with depression or seasonal affective disorders.
Depression and seasonal affective disorders can make certain seasons tough for those suffering from the conditions. The obligation of interaction with trick-or-treaters or attending Halloween parties or club crawls, while fun and helpful at times, can put those with these conditions in a tough spot. It can cause anxiety and be extremely stressful to have multiple knocks on the door all evening from trick-or-treaters. It can also be daunting knowing you are expected at multiple events throughout the season. Not wanting to disappoint friends or spoil the fun, a person may partake in late nights out and excessive alcohol intake, which can affect mental health in the days following.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is not just “the winter blues” or “feeling down”, it’s depression that presents itself in a cyclical, seasonal manner. A lot of the symptoms characterized by depression overlap for those of seasonal affective disorder, but are less frequent due to being a seasonal or cyclical disorder.
To ensure the comfort of a friend that may be going through depression or seasonal affective disorder during the Halloween season (or any time of year), talk to them about their individual needs, what you can do to help, and ensure they know that your door is always open to them whenever they need a shoulder to lean on.