Even though all the songs, stories and novels describe the holidays as “the most wonderful time of the year”, the truth is, that for some people, the holidays may not be as wonderful and joyful as they say. Even though everything around us is a reminder of this happy season, the lights in the streets, the adorned stores and houses, for some people, the holidays may not be as merry.
Experts believe that the bright and merry climate around us may actually be responsible for depressed emotions. Why? Experts believe that the gay atmosphere may be a painful reminder of things you lack, such as happiness. The holiday season may be a difficult period for people dealing with depression, other diseases, serious family problems or other sad events. Results of a recent study showed that during December, there is a rise in the number of people affected by depression, as well as a rise in the number of suicides. Experts name this seasonal phenomenon as the “holiday blues”.
Here are some of the risk factors of holiday depression:
- High expectations: Setting up unrealistic expectations is one of the most common risk factors of depression. During the holidays, people tend to raise their expectations, make more plans and set higher goals. Picturing the perfect holiday atmosphere is something that can actually bring us a step closer to depression. We often picture our holidays to be as bright and merry as shown on the holiday movies. When our holidays do not turn out as expected or cannot be as magical, we tend to feel disappointed. Try keeping the picture of the holidays as simple as possible, do not let your imagination run first, think logically, and lower your expectations if needed. Don’t think that you have to be pessimistic. On the contrary, we suggest that you think positively, but also logically.
- Comparing yourself to someone else: Avoid looking at all the “perfect family” or “perfect holiday” posts on social media. Looking at them and comparing your life and your holidays with others will only worsen things.
- Trying to do too much: Buying gifts, preparing a holiday event, or planning your vacation can be stressful. Remember that the holidays are a break from the everyday life stress, from work and responsibilities. Take a step back and relax every time you feel you need a break.
Do you or a loved one suffer from Depression? See if you qualify for Segal’s clinical research study on Depression today!