Social Work Programs

December 3, 2010

Holiday Depression And Sadness

Filed under: holiday depression — Tags: , — admin @ 11:24 am

holidaydepression The holidays can be a joyous time, but can also be a time of deep aloneness or difficulty for many people. A number of clients came in two days before Thanksgiving with dread of getting through the holidays. This also occurs right before Christmas. It can be due to the dread of seeing certain family members or the fear of having nothing to do at all. Aloneness can be accentuated during this time of year because it looks like everyone else is connecting and receiving care.


First of all, if you are supposed to see family members that you have a difficult history with, try to visualize the situation. If you anticipate a lot of drama and negative interactions is it a good idea to attend? Or can it be an opportunity to have some private meaningful conversations that will help resolve issues from the past? Will there be any supportive people at the gathering or will you feel alone? Each family situation is different and depending on the ability for people to communicate and be honest, certain family dynamics may be too difficult. Think out if you can attend for a few hours and make the situation in YOUR control, rather than feel passive and unempowered. Remember, this can be a way to also turn around the negative history and get a new start.

Sit and visualize the people in your family with whom you have difficulties. Is it possible to see why they may behave the way they do and if there is a way you have contributed to the situation? Of course, certain situations that involved abuse or neglect may be one’s where you were a victim and these are often very difficult to have a new perspective on. Some people are able to forgive through compassion and others find it more healthy to cut off contact and not be pulled back into unhealthy dramas. It really depends on the circumstances as well as the personalities involved. For someone coping with biopolar disorder, this time of year can be one to watch out for. Many people are hospitalized around holiday time for mood instability.

If you are someone suffering from holiday depression due to having no family or loved one to spend it with, preparing ahead of time for Christmas is important. Do you have a friend in a similar situation? Would you feel better volunteering at a shelter or church function where you can help with meal preparation? This is a way you can feel good about helping others and be around others who volunteer and help out.

Another way to get through the holidays is to remember that you aren’t at work or school for the day. Are you near a nature center or area that you love? If you are in a warm climate, grabbing a book and a music player can be a way to have a day that is stress free. You can also stay home and use the day for some meditation, a time of writing and a way to write out your visualizations for next year. It can be very peaceful to be away from things and just turn inside. Speaking to a counselor a few times in December can be helpful in dealing with this time of year. Remember also that it’s easy to project on to others that they are having a perfect time in their lives and to forget that there are tensions and strains in each person’s life which are challenges.

1 Comment »

  1. To be honest, I dreaded Thanksgiving and now christmas too. It looks like everyone has such a network of family and friends but me. I think I will see the movie Little Fockers as that looks like about a family that has problems like mine.

    Comment by Brett — December 24, 2010 @ 12:20 pm

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