Christmas Suicides: Do Suicide Rates Really Increase On Christmas Eve And Day?

Charisse Van Horn

Christmas suicides and an increase in depression is a common myth that many people believe. While the actual amount of people who commit suicide decreases up to the point of Christmas, it often increases in fall and spring. According to research by the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC), it has been determined that the month of December is actually the lowest for suicides. In fact, Annenberg has taken to task the role newspapers, media, and press have in perpetuating the myth and have asked them to stop. Dan Romer, who led the APPC study, discussed the dangers of the increased Christmas suicides myth. When asking the question whether Christmas suicides increase on Christmas Eve or Christmas day, the answer is an emphatic no.

"It is unfortunate that the holiday-suicide myth persists in the press. "Aside from misinforming the public, the sort of reporting misses an opportunity to shed light on the more likely causes of suicide."
"The press has an important role to play in debunking the holiday-suicide myth. It is essential that the public be given accurate information on this important subject."

The advancement of social media networks has helped perpetuate the myth of increased holiday suicides. While it is true that some people become disillusioned with the holiday spirit, and the commercialization of the season, many people do not actually commit suicide. While those who are lonely may suffer more loneliness during the season, the research doesn't show an increase in actual suicides. As you can see, some people across social media networks believe the Christmas-suicides myth.

— Parson Brown (@Bro_Pair) December 24, 2015

— Andrew Harper (@andsharper22) December 24, 2015

— Ann aka Grasshoppah (@Doodisgirl) December 19, 2015

If you have felt like endangering your life by committing suicide and need help, you may reach out to the National Suicide Prevention lifeline, any time day or night, at 1-800-273-8255.

[Photo Credit/Charisse Van Horn]

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