What is Holiday Depression and How Can I Get Through It?
For many people, the holiday season fills them with happiness. The time they get to spend with friends and family, the lights and music, the gift giving and parties give them pleasure and fills them with joy. For many of us though, we feel the opposite about these situations. Experiencing negative emotions about the holiday season are not uncommon at all, and even have a name: holiday depression.
Why am I Experiencing Holiday Depression?
For those of us on this side of the fence, we experience holiday sadness for a variety of reasons. We may feel anxious and stressed about possible family conflict, are reminded of our lack of friends and family to spend the holidays with, or troubled by our financial situation. Holiday depression can creep into our lives slowly, or hit us hard in a single moment. The increased pressure to be happy during this time just makes things worse for us, and trying to balance all the additional societal demands results in increased stress and fatigue.
Some people make it through the holidays just fine, but fall into the form of holiday depression that comes after the celebrations subside. The financial strain that now must be addressed along with the feelings of disappointment when reflecting on unmet expectations and the stress of returning to our daily routine after putting off deadlines and responsibilities.
The final group of us suffering from holiday depression may actually be suffering from seasonal affective disorder, or seasonal depression. Major Depressive Disorder with seasonal pattern is a type of recurrent depression that is caused by the seasons changing. Many people with this disorder develop depression symptoms during the fall, and continue to feel sad throughout the winter.
How Can I Get Through Holiday Depression?
There are a handful of techniques you can try on your own to help mitigate the holiday blues. However, the intensity and complexity of holiday depression is often best worked through with the help of a trained professional.
Some general techniques that may lessen the feelings of sadness include the following: