Depression is complex and we often don’t know, or sometimes have a reason (outside of DNA and biology) behind it. But, there are some common reasons for holiday depression. If you tend to suffer from the blues around this time of year, know that you are not alone. Holiday depression is a condition that may affect a person only for the duration of the season, or it may simply be a trigger for depression that could extend beyond the winter or the holidays. In addition to or separate from this condition, some people suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is a seasonal type of depression connected to changes in the weather.
Here are a few reasons for the ‘why’ behind holiday depression;
Family Issues: Spending time with parents, siblings and other relatives can cause tension in some families. This tension can cause and trigger seasonal depression.
Loneliness: While many people get overly excited about the holidays, when reality of the events set in, they may find themselves disappointed and then isolating. There is no perfect holiday and there will be ups and downs during the season as life doesn’t stop for the holidays. If you go into the season with realistic expectations, it makes it harder for depression to be triggered.
Reduced Sunlight: The lack of sunlight during the winter months can be one of the triggers for depression, especially since the chemical balances within the body along with longer periods of darkness can make a person less likely to want to go outside, exercise or spend time with others.
If you’re feeling extra blue, try to take a deep breath and talk with someone (a friend or a professional) about what you’re feeling. Often, sharing concerns and feelings help to start a conversation and you will discover that you’re not alone. People may be all smiles at this time of year, but many people are also stressed and upset on the inside.