by Fabienne Turenne
As we are in the midst of the holiday season, there are many festivities occurring. We see Christmas decorations, tree lightings, holiday sale commercials, and Christmas music playing on the radio in almost every store we enter. These are all meant to promote the common themes of the holidays such as joy, cheer, happiness and giving. While for most people the holiday season is a time of joy and happiness, many suffer from holiday depression, stress, anxiety, and overeating.
About 10% percent of the population suffers from holiday depression due to many different factors. The holidays tend to remind us of a happier time in our lives such as memories of past holidays with a loved one who is no longer with us. It may also depress us to see others sharing the season with their loved ones while we feel alone and isolated.
Stress is also increased during the holiday season. We often reunite with family members we haven’t seen in a while which can cause old arguments to reignite. As holiday sales start and everyone starts to go shopping for presents, shopping lines increase tremendously and parking spaces become impossible to find. More money is spent during this season which can also be stressful for many. Those who suffer from holiday depression and stress may use overeating as a way of coping due to the abundance of food available at family gatherings.
Holiday depression, anxiety, stress, and overeating may be due to any one of the factors listed above however, it could also be a combination of these things as well as an ongoing depression or anxiety. A mental disorder such as depression or anxiety can be worsened by holiday stresses. If you find yourself becoming depressed during this season or if you are someone who already suffers from a mental disorder that is becoming worse due to the holiday season, contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our therapists. Arista Counseling & Psychological Services (212) 722–1920 or (201) 368-3700.