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Dreaded Holiday Depression

Photo by Lloyd Morgan
Photo by Lloyd Morgan

I write this with a heavy heart.

It’s a difficult time of year for me.

But I know I’m not alone.

Every year many people suffer from depression during the holidays. It can affect anyone but moreso those who are vulnerable to depression.

It can be a tough time if loved ones have been lost, you’re ill or painful memories are associated with this time.  Salt is rubbed into open wounds when we see all the festivities, ‘happiness’ and love around us, reminding us of everything we so want but don’t have. And everything we once had but lost. And as the new year approaches we reflect and though a new dawning can bring a sense of hope, it can also bring a sense of anxiety.

It is painful.

Managing

So how do we cope? How have I been coping?

● No point in burying what you feel, you should let everything out. Cry if you need to, talk about it and get it all out. Vent. Do anything that helps you to cope even if it means going away. Have an unconventional Christmas. My friend went on a holiday where there were no family dinners, Christmas trees or carolling; just the sea and quiet.

● Having support whenever you need a shoulder is important too. If you don’t have a friend you can confide in, many charities have helplines or forums you can turn to for help.

● Get professional help (medication or therapy) if you need it.

● Being alone is needed sometimes, but it’s not entirely good to spend the entire period alone. It can cause excessive worrying and anxiety. Go out and do something if even for a short while to occupy your mind.

● Knowing your limits is important, so if those parties and family gatherings are too much, take a break or leave early if you’re not feeling well. It’s not always easy to tell others we are suffering so I think sometimes just saying you’re feeling unwell should suffice. Better that than get irritated and end up in family conflict.

● Hope and don’t give up.

It is tough, very tough I know, but as the year closes in try to think of it of a chance to have a newish beginning. Sure some things we cannot change. Sometimes we cannot go back, and some wounds we cannot mend but we can try, only try and hope to make the New Year a better one. Somehow.

Gentle Hugs, love and all the best for the new year 🙂

potofcallaloo
Alisha Nurse is a curry-loving writer & comms professional who holds a Master of Arts Degree in Journalism (International) from the University of Westminster, London. Get in touch with any feedback or questions via the contact form in the 'About' section.

6 thoughts on “Dreaded Holiday Depression

  1. Self awareness is great at managing depression, though sometimes it takes a while. 🙂

    One view I like to share with people about holiday depression. It’s just another day. I don’t celebrate holidays because they’re man made (No I’m not a Jehovah’s witness). 😀

    Another thing is, I think some may be predisposing themselves to holiday depression because they themselves unknowingly create that reality. Because they believe they will be depressed when holidays roll around, their self prophecy manifests. Just food for thought. 🙂

    1. I agree that it’s just another day but I have to beg to differ on your last point. For many people the holidays are difficult because of losses suffered and it may be a painful reminder even if they try to forget.

      1. Understood. (Hugs) Maybe it’s just how I view death coupled with what I wrote in the comment. I came to believe death is a new beginning and is not something to be feared and forever mourned. In theory I hope my views can help people which is why I leave comments. 🙂 I understand not everyone will agree or understand my hypotheses. I strongly believe emotions and thought patterns can be addictive. (Warm smiles)

  2. I’m right there. I stayed home. Didn’t call anyone because I didn’t want them to know I was alone. I can’t handle being around other people’s huge family celebrations when my own family is so broken and distanced emotionally.

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