Have we been more vulnerable to depression for years?

The media version of New Years Eve, which is seen on TV shows, cultural street events, and even commercials aired on these dates, is characterized by joy, good wishes and affection for loved ones.

In short, almost everything that makes up what is called in psychology “positive affectivity”: a mental state that allows us to experience well-being and brings us closer to happiness.

However, just as saying something isn’t the same as doing it, the New Year we see through screens doesn’t have to be the one that the vast majority of people live with. For many, this hour doesn’t mean anything special and is just another mark on the calendar. And for others, not only are they unhappy dates, but they make them sad, anxious, or overwhelmed with despair.

And this is it the link between the new year and depression this makes many people vulnerable to this mood disorder who find it difficult not to feel very bad during these days that bind year after year. We will see here what this phenomenon is due to and what can be done to remedy it.

    The impact of cultural phenomena on mental health

    Mood disorders associated with depression don’t just happen; the frequency and intensity of its symptoms are related to our experiences.

    That’s not to say that certain events lead us to desperately in a depressed mood, of course. How we interpret what is going on around us plays a very important role in our mental health., Making us more or less vulnerable depending on our belief system, our attitudes and our ideas. The same event can be traumatic for one individual and emotionally neutral for another.

    However, if the subjectivity of each person influences our propensity to develop psychological disorders, these ways of interpreting reality are never entirely individual and detached from the context; the “glasses” with which we read what is happening around us are not our inventions built from nothing; they are influenced by cultural phenomena that mobilize thousands or millions of people. And the New Year is a good example.

    The relationship between the new year and depression

    Obviously, the mere existence of the New Year doesn’t make everyone more at risk for symptoms of depression. This link between depressive disorder, on the one hand, and New Years Eve and onset on the other, is only significant in some people predisposed to this psychological disorder.

    How does this link happen? First of all, New Years Eve invites us to look to the past and take stock of what has happened to us. If we think it’s been a bad year or things have happened that we’ve been through a lot, all the negative emotional charge of the past 12 months will come to us all of a sudden, Accumulated in a single mental image, and this can be reason enough to make us want to participate in any potentially enjoyable and stimulating activity, which worsens our mood as we feel isolated, disconnected from the rest.

    Outraged, The new year encourages comparisons. And either by comparing our progress to that of others, or by comparing ourselves to the “I” of 12 months ago. If the result of this mental exercise is unfavorable, it will harm our self-esteem and our ability to believe in ourselves. Emotional stagnation and hopelessness are another basic ingredient of depression, and the New Year can trigger if we were already in a situation of emotional vulnerability.

    Finally, the combination of all of the above can lead us to become fixated on the idea that we are plagued by many issues that haunt us everywhere we go, and that don’t even go away with the passing of the months.

    It is more and more broth to ruminate onWhat is the tendency to reverse a lot of these kinds of thoughts that worry us. It is ultimately a kind of psychological “tunnel vision”, which leads us not to be able to stop thinking about distressing ideas, leaving us only a few hours of “rest” between one ruminant cycle and the next.

    As you may have guessed, rumination is also associated with depression. Pessimism attracts pessimism, and one of the hallmarks of depression is its self-referencing nature: sadness reminds us that we have reason to be sad, to sum up.

      How to fight against depression on New Years?

      Psychotherapy has been shown to be an effective way to fight depression once they have started to show their symptoms, and to avoid relapses when a depressive attack has already been left behind. The tools used by psychologists are varied and adapt to the characteristics of each patient, but in all there is something in common: it encourages the adoption of new behavioral habits and new mental frameworks from which to interpret the reality of ‘in a constructive way.

      At Psicomaster we have a highly qualified team with years of professional experience help people with depression and other mood disorders. If you would like to visit our center in Madrid, you can find us at 32 O’Donnell Street (in the Retiro district), or by accessing our contact details by clicking here.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Belloch, A .; Sandín, B. and Ramos, F. (2010). Manual of psychopathology. Volumes I and II. Madrid: McGraw-Hill.
      • Blazer, DG, Kessler, RC, McGonagle, KA and Swartz, MS (1994). The prevalence and distribution of major depression in a national community sample: the national co-morbidity survey. The American Journal of Psychiatry. 151 (7): pages 979 to 986.
      • Kotov, R .; Gamez, W .; Schmidt, F .; Watson, D. et al. (2010). Linking “Big” Personality Traits to Anxiety, Depression, and Substance Use Disorders: A Meta-Analysis. Psychological bulletin. 136 (5): pages 768 to 821.

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