Depression during Christmas season: Why and what should you do?


Christmas seasonWe have a feeling that every next year our environment start with Christmas preparation and decoration sooner and sooner. Maybe that’s a marketing trick, but whatever it is, it has an effect on all of us.

In many songs, poems and books, Christmas season is described like the most wonderful time of the year. And it should be. This part of the year should be the happiest time, full with laugh and joyful moments with your family, friends and colleagues.

But, according to many studies and researches, statistics shows something opposite. Christmas is the time of the year when many people experience high depression.

But why is it like that? Why for some people Christmas and the holiday season are the most wonderful days in the year and for someone is the most depressed part?

Here can be mention a few good reasons that will help you to understand better the people who “hate” Christmas season and holidays.

1. Excessive commercialization of Christmas.

More and more people get depressed at Christmas and even angry because of the excessive commercialization of Christmas, with the focus on gifts and the emphasis on “perfect” social activities and not on the true meaning behind Christmas.

2. Unrealistic expectations.

Hoping for a picture-perfect White Christmas holiday is setting you up for not only disappointment, but potentially depression. People are dreaming to have Christmas а holiday like we watch on the movies. Actually, it’s never exactly as people expect and it’s often disappointing. It’s important to manage your expectations during the holidays and not hope for all things to be perfect.

Christmas season3. Financial pressures.

We live in a materialistic world, and this is probably never more obvious than at Christmas season. Not being able to afford gifts, decorations, a nice meal or the latest gadgets, for those who have very little money, Christmas season can be really difficult time of the year.

4. Painful memories.

For many people, Christmas season brings back painful memories. Many people feel very lonely at Christmas, because they have suffered the loss of loved ones or their jobs. If you’ve had a difficult life, this is often the time when you most feel it. How do live with these memories? Is it possible to find ways to cope with them or make new, better memories? Read more on this topic here.

Christmas season5. Experiencing symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

If you tend to start feeling down when winter approaches each year, and those negative feelings don’t go away after the holidays are over, you may have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Many people who think they are suffering from a case of holiday blues may actually be suffering from SAD, a form of depression that’s brought on by the change of seasons.

But SAD shouldn’t be dismissed as mere “winter blues” — talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing symptoms of the disorder to find a treatment that works for you.

What should you do, if you’re among those who get depressed during Christmas season?

Mental health professionals who treat people with this problem suggest the following:

  • If the depression is serious, seek out the help of a qualified mental health professional;
  • Set personal boundaries regarding the money spent on gifts and the number of social events;
  • Don’t accept any “perfect” representation of Christmas that the media, institutions or other people try to make you believe. Lower your expectations and any attachment to what it should look like; be present and enjoy each moment as best you can;
  • Be grateful for what you have in your life, rather than focusing on what you don’t have;
  • Take action and do interesting and fun things;
  • If you are religious, take part in church activities that focus on the bigger meaning of Christmas;
  • Focus your thoughts on all the good things about Christmas–the opportunity to engage in loving kindness, generosity of spirit, and gratitude for others in your life.

If Christmas is difficult time of the year for you, try to make a change this year. If you can’t make that change alone, ask someone for help. You are not alone. Speak about your problem. Take action and change your past experiences.

If Christmas season is still the most wonderful time of the year for you, it’s perfect opportunity to help those who become depressed. Give them reasons to be happy and make them smile.  Show them love and support!

Please share your own Christmas struggles in the comments below, but also about ways in which you may have found hope, or a new way of experiencing Christmas.

Maybe your comment will be encouragement for those who are trying to find hope and true happiness during the Christmas season.

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