Valentine's Day can be depressing for those in and out of love
Updated: Friday, February 14 2014, 05:53 PM EST
By: Maria Miller
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. -- As millions of people spend Friday night at dinner with their significant other or rushing out to get a last-minute gift, there are millions of others spending the night alone.
In addition to it being Valentine's Day, Friday is also known as Single's Awareness Day: A day that can just plain stink and actually cause depression for those without someone special.
While millions of people around the world are treated to special deliveries of flowers and chocolates, candlelight dinners and jewelry, there are millions of others left to spend Valentine’s Day by themselves.
"It can be an unpleasant reminder for people that find themselves either without a relationship or in a less
-than-desirable relationship status," said Dr. Randall Harris, a clinical psychologist in Johnstown.
It might not be something you've thought about, but psychologists like Harris say it's a day that can cause serious depression.
"People can feel sad," Harris said. "This may bring up memories from a previous relationship that ended badly and some of the bitterness and anger can almost be triggered by those events."
But feeling a bit blue on a holiday with so much pink and red isn't limited to those without a valentine. Harris said the day can also be difficult for those in happy relationships.
"One of the things, and I think Valentine's Day is guilty of this, is purporting relationships as this magical event that is a celebration that is all that is wonderful in a relationship. But as anyone who has been in any long-term committed relationship should know, they require work and effort," Harris said.
So if you’re not among those spending hundreds of dollars on cards, chocolates and flowers this year, Harris said don't be so hard on yourself; everyone is capable of finding love.
"Having worked clinically with people with all sorts of conditions and experiences, I have yet to encounter a person that I find to be totally reprehensible," Harris said. "There is always something in every person that can be kindled and loved."