You're in limited preview mode.

Login or signup for free to unlock more content.

Isolation and Depression at Christmas

Christmas Depression Loneliness

Source: "Holiday Depression" by Michael Kerr, posted Healthline.com, on March 29, 2012

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-12-17

Scripture: Isaiah 43:1 ; John 1:1

Author: Illustration Exchange
3

ILLUSTRATION

Contrary to popular perception and medical myth, the Christmas holiday season (from Thanksgiving to Christmas Day) does not produce the highest rates of suicide. In fact, statistically December has the lowest suicide rate of any month of the year. "Christmas itself seems to have a protective effect with regard to certain types of psychopathology," say researchers.

That doesn't mean people don't get depressed at a higher rate, or resort to drug and alcohol abuse during the holiday season. The statistics bear out the truth of these realities. But it is the time immediately following the holiday season--that time of festivity letdown--when researches see the greatest uptick in suicide attempts. One large Danish study places the uptick as high as 40 percent.

Social isolation--that feeling of disconnectedness--is the single greatest predictor of holiday depression and post holiday suicide.

APPLICATION

If you are feeling isolated--disconnected--this holiday season, remember that this season celebrates the very reality of God coming to Earth for one reason: To draw near to you! To enter into intimate fellowship with you! You are not alone!

"But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are mine" (Isaiah 43:1-2).

"The sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out" (John 10:3).

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:1, 14)

"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you" (James 4:8).

Looking Behind the Mask of Laughter

Depression Laughter Brokenness

Source: "The Psychology of the Sad Clown" by Alexandra Sifferlin , posted TIME, 8/13/14

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-08-18

Scripture: Proverbs 14:13

Author: Illustration Exchange
2

ILLUSTRATION

Much has been said about the "tears of a clown"--the notion that every comic face masks a depressed or troubled soul. The truth is, the research is contradictory at worst and inconclusive at best.

“People think comedians have these really dark personalities, but a lot of people have dark personalities and most of them don’t become comedians. You actually have to be pretty well-adjusted to be successful in the world of entertainment because it’s so competitive,” says Peter McGraw, a psychology and marketing professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and author of The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny.

On the other hand, research from Oxford University published earlier this year surveyed 523 comedians and compared them to a control group:

Their finding? “The creative elements needed to produce humor are strikingly similar to those characterizing the cognitive style of people with psychosis—both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder,” study author Gordon Claridge, of the University of Oxford’s Department of Experimental Psychology, told the BBC. He said comedians may use their act as a form of self-medication.

Suffice it to say that relentless jesting may not necessarily mask a deeper struggle within, but it is certainly possible that it might.

Case in point: Jamie Masada, a US comedy club pioneer, observed of his relationship with Robin Williams: "He was always in character - you never saw the real Robin. I knew him 35 years, and I never knew him."

APPLICATION

As comedian and philosopher Ben Stein has so aptly observed, "We all wear masks, metaphorically speaking."

If Robin Williams' tragic death teaches us anything at all, it teaches that we must take the time--invest the energy--to look beyond the masks to the heart and soul of the person behind them. We mustn't assume a laughing face is indicative of a light heart. In fact, Scripture gives us this insightful warning: "Laughter can conceal a heavy heart, but when the laughter ends, the grief remains" (Proverbs 14:13, NLT).

Sucked In, Washed Up, and Blown Over

Trials Depression Joy

Source: IN THE EYE OF THE STORM by Max Lucado, p. xi.

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-06-11

Scripture: Ephesians 5:19

Author: Max Lucado
13

ILLUSTRATION

In his book IN THE EYE OF THE STORM, Max Lucado begins:

Chippie the parakeet never saw it coming. One second he was peacefully perched in his cage. The next he was sucked in, washed up, and blown over.

The problems began when Chippie’s owner decided to clean Chippie’s cage with a vacuum cleaner. She removed the attachment from the end of the hose and stuck it in the cage. The phone rang, and she turned to pick it up. She’d barely said "hello" when "ssssopp!" Chippie got sucked in. The bird owner gasped, put down the phone, turned off the vacuum, and opened the bag. There was Chippie -- still alive, but stunned.

Since the bird was covered with dust and soot, she grabbed him and raced to the bathroom, turned on the faucet, and held Chippie under the running water. Then, realizing that Chippie was soaked and shivering, she did what any compassionate bird owner would do . . . she reached for the hair dryer and blasted the pet with hot air.

Poor Chippie never knew what hit him.

A few days after the trauma, the reporter who’d initially written about the event contacted Chippie’s owner to see how the bird was recovering. "Well," she replied, "Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore -- he just sits and stares."

It’s hard not to see why. Sucked in, washed up, and blown over . . . That’s enough to steal the song from the stoutest heart.

Max Lucado is one of the most beloved American authors and speakers of this generation. Most of his books have appeared on one or more best seller lists, including those published by the "New York Times," "USA Today," "Publishers Weekly," and the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA). 

APPLICATION

"Can you relate to Chippie?" he asks:

Most of us can. One minute you’re seated in familiar territory with a song on your lips. Then . . . The pink slip comes. The rejection letter arrives. The doctor calls. The divorce papers are delivered. The check bounces. A policeman knocks on your door. Sssopp! You’re sucked into a black cavern of doubts, doused with the cold water of reality, and stung with the hot air of empty promises. The life that had been so calm is now so stormy. You’re hailstormed by demands. Assailed by doubts. Pummeled by questions. And somewhere in the trauma, you lose your joy. Somewhere in the storm, you lose your song.

Don't let life steal your song. "...speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Ephesians 5:19-20).

Rick Warren's Son Takes Own Life

Desperation Depression Death

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-04-08

Scripture: Psalms 42:5 ; Psalms 43:2

Author: Illustration Exchange
6

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Thinking Clearly About Your Problems

Depression Christmas Gratitude

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-12-05

Scripture: Psalms 27:13

Author: Rick Warren and Tom Holladay
2

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Need Rest? Use the Bible, Not TV or Computer

Rest Depression Spiritual Health

Contributed By: Rod Crowell | Date Posted: 2012-09-13

Scripture: Psalms 4:6

Author: Rod Crowell
3

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Facebook Can Be Harmful to Mental Health

Self-worth Fellowship Depression

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-04-24

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 10:12 ; Romans 12:15

Author: Illustration Exchange
1

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Prelude To Depression

Criticism Marriage Depression

Contributed By: Ron Henson | Date Posted: 2012-01-09

Scripture: Matthew 7:3

Author: Ron Henson
6

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Nobody Asked Me, But ...

Christmas Depression Jesus' Love

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-12-05

Scripture: Matthew 11:28

Author: Illustration Exchange
3

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Spiritual Exertion

Depression Spiritual Health Faith

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-07-11

Scripture: 1 Timothy 4:8

Author: Illustration Exchange
1

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or