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- Holiday depression, anxiety, and stress facts
- What causes the holiday blues?
- Is the environment and reduced daylight a factor in wintertime sadness?
- What are risk factors for holiday depression, anxiety, and stress?
- What are symptoms and signs of holiday depression, anxiety, and stress?
- How is holiday anxiety, stress, and depression diagnosed?
- What kinds of specialists treat holiday depression, anxiety, and stress?
- What is the treatment for holiday depression, anxiety, and stress?
- What are possible complications from holiday depression, anxiety, and stress?
- What is the prognosis for holiday depression, anxiety, and stress?
- Can holiday anxiety, stress, and depression be prevented?
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What are risk factors for holiday depression, anxiety, and stress?
Risk factors for depression, anxiety, and stress during the holidays include having a mood disorder or experiencing depression at other times during the year and a lack of adequate social support systems. Other risk factors can include recent trauma, life changes, excessive alcohol intake, or concurrent illness. Having financial troubles may increase one's susceptibility to anxiety or stress during the holidays. Stressful family situations and illness in the family are also predisposing factors. Essentially, any factor that can cause depression, stress, or anxiety in an individual can worsen these conditions at holiday time.
What are symptoms and signs of holiday depression, anxiety, and stress?
Balancing the demands of shopping, parties, family obligations, and house guests may contribute to feelings of being overwhelmed and increased tension. People who do not view themselves as depressed may develop stress responses and may experience a number of physical and emotional symptoms including
Others may experience post-holiday sadness after New Year's/Jan. 1. This can result from built-up expectations and disappointments from the previous year, coupled with stress and fatigue.
In the case of seasonal affective disorder or a true depressive disorder, symptoms may persist beyond the holidays or may be more severe. The symptoms of seasonal affective disorder include tiredness, fatigue, depression, crying spells and mood swings, irritability, trouble concentrating, body aches, loss of sex drive, insomnia, decreased activity level, and overeating (especially of carbohydrates) with associated weight gain.