The Peculiar Phenomenon Of Birthday Blues
Ive noticed a very particular pattern with certain people right around their birthday. Their behavior starts to change, and they get nervous or even sad. They have the birthday blues,
Does this sound like you? If so, I want to tell you
You are not alone.
What is birthday depression?
Urban Dictionary defines Birthday Blues or birthday depression as a general sadness or feeling down by a person on or around his or her birthday. A person feeling birthday blues should know that it is normal to feel this way and should be supported by his or her family and friends.
But what if the person with birthday blues doesnt have any friends or family? This is especially common in the elderly, who often spend their birthdays alone. One study of persons aged 75 and over found that in the 30 days before and after a birthday, the rate of self-inflicted deaths increased.;
Why is that? The study suggests that peoples morale are greatly affected during their birthday season.;
While Small Talk Has A Purpose We Dont Want To Get Stuck In It
So thats the inner workings of small talk. It gives people time to subconsciously figure each other out.
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With that said, we dont want to get STUCK in it. A few minutes of small talk is usually enough. After that, most people get bored. We have to transition from small talk to the interesting stuff: Peoples thoughts, dreams, fascinating concepts, interesting topics.
I talk about how to get past the small talk here.
Emerging Trends In Substance Misuse:
- MethamphetamineIn 2019, NSDUH data show that approximately 2;million people used methamphetamine in the past year. Approximately 1;million people had a methamphetamine use disorder, which was higher than the percentage in 2016, but similar to the percentages in 2015 and 2018. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that overdose death rates involving methamphetamine have quadrupled from 2011 to 2017. Frequent meth use is associated with mood disturbances, hallucinations, and paranoia.
- CocaineIn 2019, NSDUH data show an estimated 5.5 million people aged 12 or older were past users of cocaine, including about 778,000 users of crack. The CDC reports that overdose deaths involving have increased by one-third from 2016 to 2017. In the short term, cocaine use can result in increased blood pressure, restlessness, and irritability. In the long term, severe medical complications of cocaine use include heart attacks, seizures, and abdominal pain.
- KratomIn 2019, NSDUH data show that about 825,000;people had used Kratom;in the past month. Kratom is a tropical plant that grows naturally in Southeast Asia with leaves that can have psychotropic effects by affecting opioid brain receptors. It is currently unregulated and has risk of abuse and dependence. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that health effects of Kratom can include nausea, itching, seizures, and hallucinations.
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Mom Did Have A Favorite
To some extent, evolution is to blame. Siblings are hardwired to engage in rivalry because they compete with one another for one of lifes most critical resourcesparental care. Two hundred years ago, half of all children did not make it out of childhood, says Frank Sulloway, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. The intensity of sibling competition makes much more sense when you realize that very small differences in parental favoritism could determine whether a child is taken to a doctor or not.
Two-thirds to three-quarters of mothers have a favorite child, according to Pillemers research. When favoritism is obvious or is interpreted as such, siblings are more likely to become estranged.
But many adults shrug off perceived less-favored-child status; others let it fester. The difference is how the siblings feel about their adult lives, says psychologist Joshua Coleman, cochair of the Council on Contemporary Families. Those with successful careers and fulfilling lives are less likely to fixate on the past and even enjoy overcoming their underdog reputation.
Write A Letter To Your Loved One
Sometimes the feelings we have about our loved ones are not straightforward while they were alive either of you may have said or done things that were hurtful, or which you regret. Writing to your loved one can be a helpful way of working through your feelings. Try to express how you feel, and say all the things you wish you had said. Here are some tips to get started:
- Firstly, there is nothing you cannot say: this is a personal letter and no-one else needs to see it. Let yourself write freely from your heart.
- You can tell your loved one the things you didnt get a chance to say to them.
- You might tell them how you are getting on since they died; you can include the good and the bad.
- You can tell them how you remember and honor their memory.
- You can share the memories you cherish the most.
- You can share your regrets, or your feelings about any issues that were left unresolved.
- You can tell them about how you feel, you might want to include the different parts of yourself.
Once youre done, think about what you want to do with your letter. You could keep it somewhere safe, or get rid of it if you prefer. There is no right or wrong answer, just be kind to yourself and do whatever feels right for you.
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This Is Why Birthdays Can Make People Depressed
Each year, on April 12, Tyler Stewart begins to feel a bit melancholy and uncomfortable. Thats because the following day, April 13, is his birthday. Stewart usually enjoys getting together with friends or hosting parties on his apartments rooftop, but birthdays are different.
Theres no condition I deal with on a day-to-day basis that creates any sort of anxiety, but when it comes to my birthday, Ive always been uncomfortable with the idea of making something about myself, says Stewart, 32, who works as the director of digital strategy for a New York City media company. In addition to the discomfort of being the center of attention, his birthday is also unsettling because it makes him consider his experiences, accomplishments, and doubts at that point in time. When I was 29, I was basically dreading it for the whole year, Stewart says. Like this is the last year of my 20s. Did I do everything that I should have? Did I meet my maximum potential? Did I have all the experiences I wanted to have? Theres a reflection of your life that I think has a tendency to occur.
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Meaningful life events also elicit memories, expectations, and disappointments, says Myrna Weissman, chief of the division of epidemiology at New York State Psychiatric Institute. For example, many of Weissmans patients have experienced depression triggered by the anniversary of a loved ones death and the memories that accompany that date.
You’re Not Supposed To Feel Sad
Society expects you to be happy on your birthday, and if you are not, then there must be something wrong with you. However, there is no specified way you are supposed to feel or act on your birthday.
Having depression doesn’t make you ungrateful. In fact, a lot of people who experience depression live otherwise healthy, productive lives. You simply just need to evaluate why you are feeling this way and what can be done to help you alleviate these symptoms.
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Metaphors And Models Of Grief
Psychologists have many different ways of thinking about grief. It used to be commonplace to think of grief as a process that goes through various stages. Some of these older models of grief were based on the idea that people move on and let go of their loved one. However, some people find this notion uncomfortable. More recent models of grief present alternative perspectives that you may find more helpful.
As you read the theories and models below, there may be some that resonate with your experience and others that dont. Thats absolutely fine! Remember there is no right way to grieve; the theories are just some ways of understanding the process of grieving.
Medical Treatments For Grief
Grief is a normal human experience for which there are no recommended medical treatments. Some medical professionals argue that symptoms of depression can be distinguished from symptoms of grief and propose that medical treatments such as antidepressant medication can be helpful in these cases. This view is not without controversy.
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Life Grows Around Grief
Another helpful metaphor for grief was developed by Dr Lois Tonkin. The idea is that we dont get over grief it doesnt go away. Instead as times goes on, you learn to grow around your grief.
Imagine drawing a circle on a piece of paper. The first one represents you and your life. Shade a section within that circle to represent your grief soon after your loss it might almost be filling the entire circle of your life. Many peoples intuition is that with time the shaded section of the circle becomes smaller as the grief passes. Tonkins theory proposes the opposite rather than the shaded area growing smaller, the outside circle grows bigger your life grows around the grief. You will have many firsts, new experiences, and ups and downs in your life. You might start to reconnect with your family and friends, you may meet new people, start to socialize again and even start to have moments when you feel joyful and happy. As these experiences accumulate, the outer circle grows bigger. As this happens your grief remains but it no longer dominates and so becomes more bearable. In this way your life grows around your grief, and you continue to carry your grief with you.
The 5 Reasons I Hate My Birthday And Why You Should Too
Today is 13th Decemberobviously. Today is my birthday. Not as if it means so much to me as a person. I didnt get to choose which day I should be born in. I was born in a day. Just like everybody else. You ought to be born. You ought to be born in a certain day. Mine happened to be on the 13th of December. End of story.
A friend once asked me; What are you going to do on; your birthday? I told him; I dont do anything because I dont need to do anything. Then he said; birthday happens once in a year. Its an opportunity for you to celebrate lifethis life that youve been given. So I asked; What about life do I need to celebrate?
When I completed school, I celebrated it. It was a milestone in my life. At work, when we hit the annual target of zero injuries, we celebrate it. It feels the effort has been worth it. I felt Ive helped people work throughout a period without sustaining any injury. Thats worth celebrating.
What is it about birthdays that I need to celebrate? If its about celebration of life, then I can make everyday a celebration. There is life everyday till there is no more life.
I wish people a happy birthday if I see it means so much to them. Those who wish me a happy birthday, of course I respond gleefully. It still doesnt change a thing. If I have reasons to hate birthdays, then it would be for the following reasons;
#1. Artificial Wishes
#2. A reminder that Im dying So Soon
#3. I want to be forever young
#4. It keeps coming every year
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I Always Cry On My Birthday So I Asked A Psychologist Why
The birthday blues are real, people.
Let’s not sugarcoat it, birthdays can be hard. Image: iStock
;If you find yourself feeling emotionally overwhelmed on your birthday, youre not alone.
Ive always been on the fence. I love spending time with all my favourite people and being made to feel special, but the thought of having the office sing Happy Birthday incites a special kind of fear within me. When I think back to how big of a deal birthdays used to be, I cant help but laugh. Id stay up till midnight just to watch the clock tick over, count all the posts on my Facebook timeline and line my cards along the windowsill with pride. These days Im far less bothered and take it as a win if a few texts roll in.
You don’t have to feel like celebrating every year. Photo: iStock
But my lack of childlike enthusiasm isnt the only thing thats changed. For the past few years, Ive always ended up crying on my birthday. Sometimes the day starts off really well but eventually hits a bump. Other times its started on a bum note that Im unable to shake off.
Why It Is That People Dont Care Lose Interest And Betray
Imagine any of these scenarios:
Scenario 1: The supportive friend
Say that you went through a tough time, and you had a friend you talked with that about. The friend is supportive at first, but then, as the weeks or months pass by, you realize that they dont really care and were just being polite. They become worse and worse at returning your calls and seem to ignore you.
Before we go into why, heres another scenario.
Scenario 2: The betrayer
Lets say youve been together with your partner to the point where you really trust him or her. You trust that person because theyve reassured you how much you mean to them. You let your guard down and open up a side of you few ever get to see.
Then suddenly, without warning, the ultimate betrayal: They let you know theyve met someone else. Or even worse, YOU find out that theyve met someone else.
WHY ARE PEOPLE LIKE THIS?
Well, there will always be assholes. But if its a pattern in our lives, it could be that weve been so preoccupied with our own emotional needs that weve forgotten about theirs.
Our emotional needs are:
If theres a pattern in our lives that people disappear, we need to ask ourselves:
- Do we come off as good listeners?
- Do we show we appreciate people?
- Do we build our relationships around similarities and commonalities rather than focus on the differences?
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Celebrate However You Feel Comfortable
Some people may feel guilty for feeling this way when loved ones or friends want to celebrate and plan festivities, when the birthday person may just want to avoid these kinds of celebrations, says Dr. Lira de la Rosa.
He encourages people who feel this way to vocalize their feelings, wants, and needs regarding their birthday and not do anything that makes them feel worse or guilty.
Its your day, so do whatever you feel comfortable with, whether thats pushing past your negative feelings to celebrate with loved ones or staying home to take care of yourself.
Keep Expectations In Place
It’s better to prevent disappointment if you’re honest about what to expect from a birthday. This is particularly true for receiving calls from family members with which a person may have a tense relationship.
Whatever kind of day it is, a person should continue to reflect on the good and be grateful for any contribution made by friends and family, no matter how trivial. No matter what, doing so would make them feel special.
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How Sibling Rivalry Turns To Strife
As kids, brothers and sisters fight. They get angry for stealing toys or crossing invisible boundaries in the backseat of the car. The ability to fight with your sibling and resolve those conflicts can be an important developmental achievement, says University of Illinois psychologist Laurie Kramer. Siblings who never learn to manage these conflicts are most at risk for adult family estrangement, says Katherine Conger, director of the Family Research Group at the University of California, Davis. You have no incentive to remain in contact. You just want to stay away.
There are two personality types who appear prone to being estranged by siblings: those who are extremely hostile and those whom Jeanne Safer, a New York City psychotherapist, calls grievance collectors. These are the ones who say, You never thanked me for the flowers I gave you in 1982. That wears very thin on people.
Sheryl Booth* has encountered both traits. The youngest of six, Booth was the late-in-life child who unseated her sister as the baby of the family. Since then, Booth feels her sister has resented every positive event in her lifevacations, singing and acting performances, even her decision to take Buddhist vows.
Ali Blumenthal for Reader’s Digest
Why Some People Feel Sad On Their Birthdays
Birthday depression, or the birthday blues, refers to feeling sad, apathetic, or disinterested in celebrating or thinking about your birthday.
In addition to experiencing sadness, birthday depression can also include a sense of low energy or focusing on the past, including everything that you may or may not have accomplished so far. These feelings may arise in the days leading up to a persons birthday, on the actual day, and for some time after as well.
This article explores some possible causes and signs of birthday depression, and offers ways to cope with feelings of sadness on and around your birthday.
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