Holiday Blues: Coping with Depression During Festive Season
The holiday season is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. However, for those who are suffering from depression, the season can bring feelings of sadness, loneliness, and anxiety. The pressure to be cheerful and joyful like everyone else can trigger depressive episodes and make it harder to cope with the symptoms of depression.
If you are struggling with depression during the festive season, you are not alone. Here are ten holiday blues that only people with depression can understand:
1. You want to feel joyous like everyone else but you can’t.
The holiday season is all about happiness, love, and warmth. It is a time when people come together to celebrate and enjoy the company of loved ones. However, for those with depression, the holiday season can feel isolating and overwhelming. No matter how hard you try, you cannot seem to feel the holiday spirit, and everything around you seems bleak.
2. You don’t wish to dampen the holiday spirit with your depression.
Depression is an invisible illness, and it can be hard to explain to others how you feel. You may want to reach out to your loved ones for support, but at the same time, you don’t want to burden them with your problems. You feel like you are robbing them of their joy and happiness, and you’d rather be alone than disturb the festive mood.
3. You don’t want other people to know about your depression.
Depression is a taboo topic, and not everyone may understand or support you when you talk about it. You may fear judgement or ridicule from others or feel ashamed for having a mental illness. As a result, you may choose to keep your depression hidden and suffer in silence.
4. You deny your own feelings for the holiday.
When you suffer from depression, you may have trouble expressing your emotions or acknowledging your feelings. You may try to put on a brave face and pretend that everything is fine, even when it’s not. This can add to your stress and make you feel worse during the holiday season.
5. You would rather hide than catch up with your relatives.
The festive season often means catching up with family and friends, but for those with depression, social interaction can be overwhelming. You may avoid gatherings or events because you don’t want to answer questions about your mental state or be in a situation where you may break down in front of others.
6. You want to avoid crowds, but people keep asking you out.
Crowds can be overwhelming, and the holiday season is no exception. You may find it hard to cope with the noise, the people, and the chaos that comes with holiday events. However, friends and family may keep inviting you to parties and gatherings, leaving you torn between wanting to avoid the crowds and not wanting to disappoint your loved ones.
7. You dread gift exchange.
Buying gifts for others can be stressful, and when you’re struggling with depression, the thought of shopping and finding the perfect gift can feel overwhelming. You may worry about the cost, the appropriateness of the gift, or whether the recipient will like it. This can add to your anxiety and make the holiday season feel less enjoyable.
8. You have to spend more time alone to recover from the holiday parties.
Attending holiday parties can be exhausting, especially when you’re not feeling your best. You may need more time to recover and recharge than others, leaving you feeling guilty for not being able to keep up with everyone else.
9. Your friends don’t understand why you could feel depressed amidst all this joy.
Those who have never experienced depression may struggle to empathize with your state of mind during the festive season. They may expect you to feel happy and cheerful, and may not understand why you can’t snap out of it. This can feel isolating and can further compound your depression.
10. You are reminded how unhappy you are when you see other people happy.
In the age of social media, it can be hard to avoid images of people enjoying the holiday season with their families and loved ones. This can trigger feelings of sadness, inadequacy, and hopelessness, making it harder for those with depression to cope during the festive season.
The holiday season can trigger depressive episodes for those with depression, making it harder to enjoy the festivities. It is essential to acknowledge your feelings, seek support, and take care of yourself during this challenging time. Remember that you are not alone and that it’s okay to take a break from the festivities if it’s what’s best for you. Above all, be gentle with yourself, and practice self-care to help you cope with your depression during the festive season.