Is Madonna looking forward to her big 60 birthday? or could it be possible that she is dealing with birthday depression? For some, the thought of birthdays is down right depressing. Birthdays in our society are surrounded by parties, gifts, cake and everything fun, so why wouldn’t everyone be excited about them? Well birthday depression can be very real and not everyone looks at them with fondness. There are a number of reasons why people may find birthdays undesirable and downright depressing.
Reasons for “birthday depression”
- If you haven’t reached a certain goal you have set yourself you may feel a sense of failure.
- If you can’t celebrate with the significant people you want to celebrate with (loss of a loved one).
- Difficult family/friend situation, where relationships have broken down.
- If you feel alone and don’t have many people in your life.
- If you are prone to depression or other mental health conditions and have experienced these struggles in the past
- Similarly to the previous point, if you suffer with anxiety and the idea of being the centre of attention is not for you
- Age denial.
- General societal pressures – or what should happen on your birthday, what you should receive and how everyone else on instagram is getting showered with the most unbelievable surprises.
So is birthday depression a real thing?
For many it is probably more like birthday blues rather than birthday depression. You might be dreading a particular age but then after your birthday comes and goes you are back to your normal self and back to everyday life. But if the feelings associated with depression hang around for some time, it is likely to be the real thing. Beyond Blue has a great list of Depression symptoms that you can refer to which includes some (but are not confined to) of the following:
- tired, stomach soreness, general sick feeling, headaches and muscle soreness
- sleeping problems
- change in appetite, or rapid weight gain or weight loss.
- feeling of worthlessness, sense of failure
- loss of interest in doing things, inability to concentrate, generally feeling down.
- increase intake in alcohol
What you can do
If these symptoms and a general feeling of depressed state persists it is very important to seek professional medical advice. We strongly encourage you to see a GP as quickly as possible. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts your situation is urgent and medical assistance should not be put off.
So if you do anticipate a bit of birthday blues or even depression coming on before your birthday what can you do to reduce the impact? The best advice is to take your birthday into your own hands and organise it the way you want it to be organised. Reduce the amount of social media you are on so you set your own birthday standards and goals. Consider getting away and travelling with some close friends and family, or organise a simple picnic or dinner for yourself. Remember the simpler it is to manage the less overwhelmed you will be and the more likely you are to enjoy it. That way your birthdays can come and go without too much grief.
If you have been dealing with depression for quite some time and regular treatments are not working for you, please visit our website to find out more about Sydney TMS. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation offers an alternative to medication treatment for depression and is particularly worth considering when two or more drug trials have failed.