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The holidays are supposed to be a time of togetherness and joyfulness, but for some people they experience an illness known as holiday depression. There are numerous reasons why some people suffer from this ailment during this time of the year.

Suffering from Holiday Depression

And although there is not one clear cut solution to this problem, people learn how to cope with this the best way they can. Some of the reasons why people experience the holiday blues stems from circumstances such as, not having a close knit family to celebrate the holidays with or having a dysfunctional family. Even though some people suffer from this seasonal type of depression, there are ways that people who deal with this mental ailment can overcome the holiday blues.

Many people are happy when the holidays come around, but for some people the holidays are what cause their depression. Coming from a dysfunctional family can cause stress and anxiety among family members and the person with this disorder. If this is left untreated, the person can develop depression. No one wants to experience depression during the holidays, therefore some people use self medicating techniques to help deal with or overcome the holiday blues.

  Holiday Depression Self Medicating Behavior

  • Using Drugs
  • Binge Drinking
  • Overeating

According to Dr. Allen Swartz an LSCW, he states that holiday depression is common among many individuals, and although people who have an underlying mental illness tend to have more problems with the holiday blues, there are many people without any type of mental illness that also experience this type of depression. Anyone who overindulges in overeating, drinking or partying is putting themselves at risk for this type of depression. He concludes that the consumption of alcohol causes sleep disturbances and can cause depression.

 So what can a person do to overcome the holiday blues? They can learn to face their problems head on instead of allowing their depression to take over. By writing in a journal a person can accomplish many things, including:
 

  • Expressing their feelings
  • Putting thoughts into perspective
  • Learning to let go of negative feelings
  • Deciding whether the problem is that serious
  • Getting rid of negativity

By writing their thoughts down it helps them to express their feelings and take into account why they are feeling depressed. They can then decide whether the problem needs to be addressed directly or they can decide to let it go.

Continue reading after recommendations

  • Goldsmith, B. Emotional Fitness: 10 Tools for Dealing with Holiday Depression and Stress. Psychology Today
  • Schwartz, Dr. A. “Coping With Holiday Cheer or How to Reduce the Risk of Depression.” Mental Help.net
  • The Mayo clinic staff. “Stress, depression and the holidays: 10 tips for coping.”
  • Preidt, R. “Seniors May Need Help Overcoming the Blues“, Published November 28, 2009. Accessed on December 15, 2009 from the United States Department of Health and Human Services Website
  • www.psychologytoday.com/blog/emotional-fitness/200911/10-tools-dealing-holiday-depression-and-stress
  • www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=28573&w=5&cn=144
  • www.mayoclinic.com/health/stress/MH00030/NSECTIONGROUP=2
  • www.womenshealth.gov/news/english/633387.htm