Christmas can be a really exciting time of the year for some. If you have a toxic family full of tension and conflict, the idea of everybody coming together, to sit around and be in close company for the whole day can be enough to make you break into a cold sweat.
Christmas with the family can feel quite contained and the environment is quite isolating, even when the family dynamics are not particularly toxic.
The streets become eerily quiet and with everything on hiatus it can feel like a sense of being trapped, so it’s important to know what you can do and how you can survive a toxic family Christmas without completely losing your sanity.
Depression is the most predominant mental health condition worldwide.
The symptoms of depression include feeling extremely low for extended periods of time, low feelings of self worth, hopelessness, lethargy, apathy, loss of appetite and sleep disturbances.
There are also socioeconomic factors which can make people more susceptible or vulnerable to symptoms of depression such as belonging to black, asian or ethnic minority groups, young males, the LGBTQ+ community, victims of abuse, having learning disabilities, substance abuse and homelessness.
As a psychotherapist in private practice and a mental health advocate, I feel counselling is still stigmatised, largely because it is misunderstood, misrepresented and highly undervalued. In recent years there has been an increase in public awareness and an understanding of how important the role of therapy can play in overall mental health and wellbeing.
Despite this, there are still a number of common myths about counselling that either prevents people from seeking out counselling and psychotherapy, talking about therapy, or openly discussing when they are in the process of counselling.
There are a lot of misconceptions from the media and other sources about counselling and what you can expect when going to see a therapist.