Holiday Depression, Anxiety, and Stress

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Holiday depression, anxiety, and stress facts

  • A number of factors, including unrealistic expectations, financial pressures, and too many commitments can cause stress and anxiety at holiday time.
  • Certain people may feel anxious or depressed around the winter holidays due to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), sometimes referred to as seasonal depression.
  • Headaches, excessive drinking, overeating, and insomnia are some of the possible consequences of poorly managed holiday stress.
  • Those suffering from any type of holiday anxiety, depression, or stress can benefit from increased social support during this time of year. Counseling or support groups can also be beneficial.
  • In addition to being an important step in preventing the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, regular exposure to light that is bright, particularly fluorescent lights, significantly improves depression in people with SAD during the fall and winter.
  • Setting realistic goals and expectations, reaching out to friends, sharing tasks with family members, finding inexpensive ways to enjoy yourself, and helping others are all ways to help beat holiday stress.

The winter holiday season, including Christmas, Hanukkah, and Thanksgiving, for most people is a fun time of the year filled with parties, celebrations, and social gatherings with family and friends. But for many people, it is a time filled with sadness, self-reflection, loneliness, and anxiety.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/4/2014

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Holiday Depression and Stress - Symptoms Question: What are your symptoms associated with depression or stress during the holidays? Which holidays do you dread?
Holiday Depression and Stress - Treatment and Coping Question: What types of treatment or coping methods have helped you with your holiday-related depression or stress?
Holiday Depression and Stress - Prevention Question: If you are susceptible to holiday stress or depression, how do you prevent an occurrence? Do you avoid certain activities?
Holiday Depression and Stress - Causes and Triggers Question: Is it a lack of money or the loss of a loved one? What triggers the holidays blues for you?

Symptoms of Anxiety

Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension and fear characterized by physical symptoms such as:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Sweating
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of stress