Ever since George Bailey, the main character of the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, made the decision to take his life that fateful day when it seemed the Baily Brothers’ Building and Loan was going to fail, a disturbing rumor has persisted. Holiday suicide myths might be attributed to this movie despite the fact George doesn’t commit suicide. Further, statistics show the suicide rate actually decreases this time of year.
Spring and Summer Blues
According to statistics, Spring and Summer are the times with the highest suicide rates. This seems to hold true worldwide. In Finland, where it is dark during the winter months, the suicide rate tends to be higher in the spring and summer. Likewise, in South Africa, which has spring and summer in September and October, suicides increase during those months.
There are various theories as to why more suicides are committed during the spring and summer. One even has to do with an increase in pollen. Can it be true that people with allergies are more likely to commit suicide when the pollen count is higher?
Holiday Suicide Myths
So, people are stressed out during the holidays for a variety of reasons. Family problems, money problems, time issues, you name it. All this stress can lead to depression. On the other hand, maybe the joy of the season acts as a buoy for emotions, despite the problems.
The Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania analyzed the attention given to the myth of holiday suicide rates increasing. They found, regardless of hard facts, the myth persists even as recently as 2017. The bottom line is, people are generally pretty happy this time of year, and the suicide rate is lower.
Dealing with Anxiety
There is no question about the role anxiety plays during this time of year. People can become over-extended with time and finances, but they can also bounce back. For those who are willing to take away from the hustle and bustle and deal with their anxiety, the holidays will that much more joyful.
Remember what this season symbolizes, and that may help you put things in perspective. Everyone at Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A., wish you and yours a very happy and peaceful holiday celebration.