Clinical Depression during the Holidays

Deborah Gray Health Guide
  • To say that getting through the holidays with depression is difficult is like saying that travel goes up slightly during the holidays. The same factors that contribute to the average person’s holiday blues can be devastating to someone with depression. The holidays exacerbate an already unbearable situation.

    For someone who might be having trouble simply getting out of bed, the thought of things like gift shopping, sending holiday cards and cooking a holiday meal is inconceivable. For someone who is having trouble carrying on conversations, the prospect of holiday parties and family gatherings induces panic.
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    Don’t let it bother you when people say that you should be enjoying the holidays more. If they know about your depression, they are being incredibly insensitive to make such remarks and can be ignored with impunity. If they don’t know about your depression, just brush it off by saying something like, “You know, I just can’t seem to get into it. I’m sure I’ll feel different next year.”

    Make things easy on yourself when it comes to shopping for presents. Try to avoid malls and other crowded shopping venues if possible. Do your shopping by catalog and online. You won’t feel rushed and freaked out by the crowds, lights and noise.

    Try to avoid large holiday parties, or limit the time you spend at them with a prepared excuse. This is also a good way to cut down on your alcohol and food consumption. When it’s right in front of you (and free), it’s hard to resist.

    Finally, don’t beat yourself up about not being able to enjoy the holidays. Those feelings are beyond your control. When you’ve recovered from depression, there will be many more holiday seasons to enjoy.
Published On: November 30, 2005