Stephen “tWitch” Boss’s Death Reminds Us Of Holiday Impact On Mental Health

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – It is hard to believe Christmas is just days away. For many, the holidays are a joyful time of the year. For others, it can be very challenging and stressful. With the recent death of Stephen “tWitch” Boss, best known as the DJ from The Ellen DeGeneres Show, concerns are growing about the impact holidays have on mental health. The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed Boss died by suicide.

A survey by the National Alliance on Mental Illness shows 64 percent of people with a diagnosed mental illness say the holidays makes their illness worse. People who feel pressured by work or home demands can find themselves in a never ending cycle of stress and tension, especially during this time of year.

Dr. James Rachal with Atrium Health tells us, “With the holidays, there is a lot of expectations. Sometimes unmet expectations. A lot of stress as you’re a lot of times seeing people, you may not have seen for a significant amount of time. And sometimes there may have been reasons you haven’t been seeing those people.

Rachal continues, “Stress with, obviously the holidays tend to be when you buy gifts. And so a lot of anxiety about whether you buy the right gift, but also a lot of anxiety around what people can and cannot afford during that time. Also you have a lot more parties. A lot more social events. For some people that’s great. For other people that don’t enjoy social events, but feel like they’ve got expectations to be there, can certainly be very stressful.”

Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, if you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or mental health issues. Call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline to connect with a trained counselor.

Our question of the night: what causes you the most stress during the holidays?

This episode features:
WCCB TV’s Morgan Fogarty
WCCB News Edge contributor Ashley Anderson