Halloween and Mental Health

Those of you who know me likely know two things about me: 1) I have a psychology degree and 2 nursing degrees, and 2) I LOVE Halloween! I found myself thinking this year about the term "crazy" and how I use it a lot. Harmless, innocuous? No such thing.

Living with mental health issues myself, I should know better than to perpetuate stereotypes. Then this opportunity fell into my lap to write for a local mental health service and I thought - what better topic than how to approach Halloween and mental health concerns.

I ended up posting the article on Medium, as well, so here's a snippet of it. Please go to Medium if you're interested in reading the rest.

Approaching Halloween with a Mental Health Challenge

It’s creepy, and it’s kooky. It’s altogether spooky. It’s not just the Addams Family; it’s Halloween.

All Hallow’s Eve is a great time for kids and adults alike. Especially in Western cultures. Dress up and let go. Shake your inhibitions, face your fears, and have a blast doing it.

Girl wearing a Superman costume and holding a purple pumpkin container

Our superstar at Halloween. Photo by Jennifer Timer

But it can also be terrifying, scary, and disconcerting — and not because you attended a haunted house — but because you have, or someone you love has, a mental health challenge that complicates Halloween. Halloween can be an immensely stressful time of year for this half of the population.



Lastly, it can be very difficult for you, your children, or your loved ones to see other people dressed up as “the crazy escaped mental patient” or the “mad scientist.” Sure, Halloween costumes are just a fun escape for many, but can be a trigger for others. Seeing people having fun “being psycho” can leave you feeling insulted and hurt. For decades, Michael Myers has been scaring the bejesus out of us (or at least he used to) and perpetuating the stigmatizing costumes reflecting people’s fears of asylums of the past and their residents.


Go to Medium to read more.

Halloween and Mental Health
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