It’s common for the holiday season to cause more stress than joy for many people. Anxiety and depression symptoms can rise even though those around are enjoying the festivities.
While depression can come any time of the year, many studies show that stress and anxiety in November and December can be far greater for some people. Many things can trigger this “holiday stress.”
One factor can be social isolation. Many people have a relatively small social circle or none at all. People who feel disconnected from others will avoid social interaction more this time of year, as many around are celebrating with multiple social events. This personal, social withdrawal makes any holiday depression symptoms that much worse.
Another reason could be returning grief. If a loved one was lost earlier in the year, their absence can be felt more intensely around the holidays when family comes together. A previous loss during the holidays may spoil current celebrations as well, as this brings up difficult memories.
While isolation is not the best choice, there are times it may be better for you to excuse yourself from a social event if attending is going to make you more miserable. If you do skip a festivity, try to find an alternative to being alone at home.
Many people may find themselves feeling persistently sad or anxious this holiday season despite their best efforts. If unsuccessful in feeling better, consider consulting a professional. At The ITM Group, we regularly see people who may need to talk to someone with experience in order to climb out of that depression. The important thing is to take that first step to seek qualified professional help.