Why do some people get depressed during the holidays

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

why do some people get depressed during the holidays

Why do people get depressed during the holiday season?
Shouldn't the holiday season be joyful and full of happiness?

Studies have shown that holiday seasons are among the periods where people get depressed the most. Some people tried to explain this phenomenon by blaming the stress people experience when they prepare to host family members or friends at their place but this explanation lacks the basic understanding of depression.

Yes stress can lead to depression but this only happens when that stress is prolonged and not when it comes in short bursts.

So why exactly do some people feel sad during holidays?

Causes of holiday blues

The first possible explanation for that phenomenon is that some people start to reflect about their past during such holidays. The holiday season in such a case can be a phase of life where people start examining their unmet goals. If a person believed that there is no way to fulfill his dreams then certainly he will experience depression.

In addition to this people who lost a close person find it hard to experience joy when celebrating the holiday without him. In such a case the holiday season can act as a reminder of that person who was lost.

In my article How social support can benefit your health i explained how people who get strong social support from family and friends are very less likley to get severely depressed. People who have problems with their social lives and those who don't have a good social support system are more likley to get depressed in holidays since they find themselves totally alone.

Why don't those people get depressed all year long?

The important question now is: If those people already have problems that make them depressed in holidays then why don't they get depressed all year round?

Simply because those people keep distracting themselves or keeping themselves busy with work and other activities. Now when the holiday season comes the free time those people find force them to think about their goals, dreams and life and that's why some of them get depressed.

How to prevent holiday blues?

If you don't want to get depressed in holidays then you must handle your emotional problems right away instead of allowing them to accumulate.

In my book, The ultimate guide to getting over depression i said that When you leave your problems unsolved and keep yourself busy then they will backfire as soon as you find some free time to reflect about your life.

Solve your problems right away and learn how to cope with losses and you won't find yourself depressed the next holiday season.

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