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Tackling depression during Christmas holidays

12-25 | Rachael

Tackling depression during Christmas holidays

Christmas is supposed to be the happiest time of the year for Christians, as it brings along an opportunity to celebrate the occasion with family and friends. We all want things to be perfect during the Christmas holidays. Many people have an ideal in their mind’s eye and want Christmas to look like the picture on a greeting card – glowing candle, a perfect Christmas tree, presents wrapped faultlessly and tied with a perfect bow, superbly prepared food, and so on.

However, in reality there may not be enough money for some of us to celebrate the festival as desired, the days are too short, we are very tired, busy, and run down, the kids not behaving, and things not going according to plan. People often set their expectations too high and the result is disappointment and stress. Christmas may not be a happy time for all as it can bring back unhappy memories, trigger unpleasant emotions, highlight what is not right about their lives, or make people feel generally out of control.

There are many ways you can ease negative feelings at this time of year; look after yourself, be realistic about expectations, and stick to a budget. These are just a few ways one can manage negativity at the time of the festival. Ask for help and support and be honest with friends and family if you feel you are unable to cope.

But for some, even support from family or friend may not be enough. Although everyone feels sad from time to time, and many may experience stress at this time of year, Christmas can trigger more problems. As WebMD explains, for some people, adapting or changing their expectations and behavior may not be enough. The Christmas season may bubble up the depression, which was so far under the surface. If someone is fighting clinical depression or has suffered from depression in the past, the stress brought on at this time of year can set off symptoms or make symptoms worse.

Symptoms of depression

The symptoms of depression include feeling sad, a sense of hopelessness, losing interest in life or sex, and thoughts of suicide or self-harming. Symptoms can also be physical – fatigue, insomnia, lack of energy, aches and pains, change in appetite, or excessive sleeping.

If symptoms occur most days for more than two weeks, are severe enough to affect your life, and you are not getting any better, it could be a sign of depression. You should therefore seek out the help of a qualified mental health professional.

What is depression?

According to Healthline, depression affects mood and general outlook and is much more than just feeling sad. It is a major public health problem and is absolutely nothing about which one should be ashamed. The Mental Health Foundation points out that depression can happen to anyone, irrespective of age or status.

It can happen as a result of illness, family problems, life-changing events, or there may be no clear cause at all. It is probably caused by altered brain structure and chemical function; drugs can help by altering the levels of brain chemicals and improving communication between nerve cells in the brain. WebMD points out that depression can also be a side effect of taking other medication, or could be due to seasonal affective disorder, which is caused by shorter daylight hours.


Talk therapy can help in case of mild to moderate depression; it works by understanding and changing thoughts and behaviors that contribute to how you feel. There are other treatments available for depression that require qualified medical supervision. Most people are usually unable to get over depression without professional help. Fortunately, it is a highly treatable condition; more than 80 percent of people get better with help.

If you or your loved one is dealing with a depression that needs medical intervention to cure, please call the Depression Treatment Helpline of Colorado at 866-427-5668 for assistance. We can connect you to a treatment provider who can help you deal with your exact situation.

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