Why you should care

Because reaching out can make a world of difference.

While we like to call the holiday season the most wonderful time of the year — cue the carols for reference — it’s not uncommon to feel especially anxious right about now. Plummeting temperatures and short days — compounded with family issues and forced merriment — account for a rise in mental health issues.

“During this holiday season, some of us will be with family and friends; others will be alone. The holidays may offer joy for some, but their social and financial pressures are vexing for others,” notes Dr. Arpan Waghray, chief medical officer for Well Being Trust. He recommends reaching out to someone close, and really being there for them if they need you. One way to do this is via text.

“Texting is such a low barrier to entry because you don’t have to say something out loud or risk someone overhearing you,” explains Maggie Van de Loo, director of Los Angeles’ Crisis Text Line. To further investigate, we solicited a real text conversation from someone who regularly experiences panic attacks.

“Sometimes I’m afraid to talk about how I’m feeling with people,” says the participant, who chose to remain anonymous. “But when you’re feeling anxious or stuck in a cycle of depressive thoughts, texting someone can be calming and helps you connect back to reality.”

Below, find a real, unedited conversation between two young women using texts as their preferred means of getting through. Read on, and don’t be afraid to reach out to a friend — or the Crisis Text Line — if you need a little bit of support this season.

OZYTrue Story

Good stories from around the globe. Essays and immersion, into the harrowing, the sweet, the surprising — the human.