Dealing with depression during the holidays is as common as seeing houses covered in Christmas lights and Santa Claus in the shopping centers, but is certainly not as jolly.
Financial strain, familial issues or distance from family, and a constant pace of parties, packages, and people are just a few of the things that can make it grueling to get from the day before Thanksgiving to the day after New Year’s.
The holidays are projected as such a happy time, and they can be, but what brings one person joy can invoke a heartfelt sadness in another. While hearing a squeal of glee as a child opens the perfect present can fill one heart, it may be heartbreaking for someone else.
You know what? It’s ok to feel what you feel. No one else has lived your life but you. If you are dealing with depression during the holidays, do not beat yourself up for it. It is a tumultuous time, and it can be difficult to handle the rollercoaster of emotions. Do not compare yourself to others; allow yourself to be you.
Holidays and Substance Abuse
Holiday gatherings make it even easier to turn to substance use as a means of masking our feelings. Alcohol is abundant at events, and the events happen more frequently. Not to mention, more people drink, and they drink more than normal.
Drug and alcohol relapse rates spike 150% during the holidays. Binge drinking can also lead to other serious health issues and even death. A report by Alcohol Monitoring Systems found that the monitored DUI offenders increased their drinking by 33% between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. This behavior is not healthy for anyone, so we all must learn to deal with our own and each other’s feelings of depression during the holidays.
Tips for a Healthy Holiday
You may not be able to eliminate sadness, but you can help ease it. One of the best things you can do is to keep a mantra of “everything in moderation.” If you remain mindful of food & drink, gift-giving, party-going, and all of the other craziness that occurs, and stay true to your needs, it will help you deal with depression during the holidays.
Holiday Help is Here
If it is all still too overwhelming, Summit Malibu is here to help. Contact us now to get more information about addiction recovery resources or to speak to an addiction treatment specialist about possible admission.