Study Shows Suicide Rates Do Not Increase during Holiday Season

By: Litsa Pappas Email
By: Litsa Pappas Email

Annenberg Public Policy Center Press Release on Holiday Suicide Link

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va -– There is a social myth that people are more suicidal during the winter months, but that is actually not true.

A look at the report above and you can see how through the years the media has started to debunk the myth that people are more suicidal during the holidays.

Even though the suicidal rate doesn't increase over the holiday season, more people do get depressed from seasonal affective disorder. A counselor broke down what this is and why it may be something many people are experiencing right now.

Jane Pirooz is a professional counselor at Rockingham Memorial Hospital's behavioral health clinic. She said she sees lots of patients who are dealing with seasonal affective disorder.

"There's an inability to get out of bed, to carry on your daily activities,” said Pirooz, “Again you're feeling as if you're not able to concentrate on your work. You're not able to get up in the morning, changes in behavior that can impact your family."

These changes could occur because people are seeing less sunlight during the day. Pirooz said it is a chemical imbalance that happens in some people and the loss of daylight hours just makes it worse. The good news is that there are ways to help make people suffering from seasonal affective disorder feel better.

"Getting out, walking maybe 20 minutes a day when it's light outside is a very good thing to do. Lots of times people have to do that over lunch if they're real busy, but it's a really easy thing to do."

Pirooz said if you do not feel better as the season changes again, you may need to seek help for depression.

It is also really easy to check and see if you're suffering from seasonal affective disorder. Just click on the depression assessment here: RMH Behavioral Health Depression Survey

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