Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché;
I work in a psychiatrist’s office. Why does everyone go crazy this time of year?
from- Obs Serve
This again is a big question. There are many reasons why this time of year is agitating for so many of us. Daylight savings has changed everyone’s schedule. It is dark earlier now and we have far less exposure to natural sunlight. People are confined indoors and get less exercise. This also means some of us are around each other more, while others become more isolated. Viruses and allergies abound. Many of these winter phenomena contribute to fatigue which makes people irritable. But also from a cultural point of view I see that this is the time of year when our cultural identity, for some people, falls apart. As Americans there is an underlying promise of peace, wealth and prosperity for all. Our cultural myths and religions promise rewards for good behavior (Santa has been watching you.) We are heading for the big tally of New Year when we reflect on the last year. For a portion of society, their lives suck. All of their expectations have fallen short and they are comparing, anticipating, watching… They look around at the advertisements of cheer and good will and get angry.
We have a co-dependent culture where we try to be for others something we are not. Christmas for many is like a play they put on for their families. They all act the parts they were assigned growing up but none of it has anything to do with who they are. This is stressful. Of course there are the financial stressors of the season. In a capitalistic Christmas it’s hard to compete. No one will be happy if they don’t get the biggest newest bestest item.
Something else to consider is the Viking hypothesis. In days of yore, the growing season was rather short in Norway. Rather than being able to store enough food up for the winter, come this time of year the Vikings would go berserk and take the supplies they needed from everyone else. This was a very successful and effective strategy. In their time, the Vikings spread their genes throughout the known world. I believe these genes are still around today and come this time of year, aggression increases in those with the same ancestry.
All of these phenomena are part of the reason why people go crazy this time of year.
– Dr. Brilliant Cliché