Overcoming Depression During the Holiday Season

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC for Addiction Hope

While countless individuals appear to be enjoying the tidings and merriments of the holiday seasons, this time of year can be burdening for men and women dealing with depression.

During a time of year that emphasizes family gatherings with high expectations of cheerfulness, depression can be amplified.

The holiday season can also trigger feelings of loneliness, anxiety, stress, sadness or grief, which can all contribute to underlying depression.

Feeling the Guilt of the Holidays

Are you or a loved one struggling with depression, particularly during the holiday season? Do you feel guilty for not sharing in the joy of the season or frustrated that you seem unable to do so?

If you are dealing with depression, it is important to understand that you are not alone and that there is hope for getting through this difficult time. Contrary to what many people believe, depression is actually a serious medical illness.

When you are struggling with depression, no amount of holiday cheer will help you though this condition. Depression is not something you simply “get over” and often requires professional assistance and treatment for overcoming.

The Stigmas of Depression

winter-198447_640According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, about 25 million Americans will have an episode of major depression in this year alone, though only one-half receive treatment [1].

Perhaps this is due to the many stigmas that surround depression or the misunderstanding that this mood disorder involves only temporary feelings of sadness or despair that will eventually resolve.

A Serious Mental Health Issue

The truth is that depression is a real and serious mental health issue that can occur any time of year, including the holiday season.

If you or a loved on is suffering with symptoms of depression, including:

  • feelings of helplessness
  • self-loathing
  • irritability
  • loss of energy
  • isolation
  • suicidal ideations

…it is crucial that you seek out professional help. Mental health disorders, such as depression, are burdening and isolating illnesses. You do not need to suffer through this alone. Having appropriate care and treatment for depression, such as with a combination of psychotherapy and medication, can drastically improve one’s prognosis.

If you are dealing with depression during this holiday season, be encouraged to know that there is hope for healing and restoration, even in the darkest of circumstances.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What about the holiday season can trigger episodes of depression?


  • National Alliance on Mental Illness, “What is Depression?” http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=depression

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on December 22nd, 2014
Published on AddictionHope.com