Coping with Anxiety and Depression During the Holidays

The holiday season is supposed to be a fun, joyous, and happy time of year where we gather with family and friends. However, many people struggle with anxiety and depression during the holidays for various reasons. 

For some people, who have been clinically diagnosed with anxiety and depression, the holidays can make it more challenging to manage their mental health disorder. For other people, they experience seasonal anxiety and depression, which is considered a major depressive disorder.

Why are Anxiety and Depression Triggered During the Holidays?

Triggering events will vary from one person to the next. For example, the holiday season can increase stress with having to balance work, family life, holiday shopping, holiday events, and social commitments. Furthermore, the holidays can be financially stressful for many people that are trying not to overspend.

In addition, some people have a mental image of what the holidays should be or how they envision events, gatherings, or other things will occur. When these expectations are unrealistic, it can be a significant letdown because things do not play out how one thought they would. 

Another reason anxiety and depression are triggered during the holidays is because it is easy for us to compare ourselves with others and their “holiday status.” For example, we might compare how many decorations we have and look at someone else’s and think theirs are prettier or they have more. 

We might also compare the number of presents and the size of the presents under our friends’ trees. We could even compare who has received the most holiday greeting cards. 

Making these comparisons can make us feel anxious and depressed when our neighbors, friends, and relatives seem to be happier and have a better life than we do – even when it is not true.

Other Anxiety and Depression Triggers During the Holidays

  • Feeling Alone – It is easy to feel sad and depressed if you are spending the holidays alone. You can also feel isolated when you are left out of holiday activities and events. 
  • Family Conflict – If there is some type of ongoing family conflict between relatives, it can add stress and increase anxiety during family gatherings. 
  • Loss of a Loved One – If a loved one recently passed away and this is the first holiday without them, it can make us experience grief and a sense of loss, causing us to feel sad and depressed.
  • Past Traumas – Prior traumatic events that occurred during the holidays can be re-triggered and make us feel anxious or depressed. 
  • Past Substance Abuse – If someone is recovering from substance abuse disorder, the holidays can be a difficult time triggering anxiety about being around alcohol and drugs. 

What Can You Do to Prevent a Symptom Relapse?

The most important thing you can do for yourself to prevent anxiety and depression during the holidays is to do what is best for you. If that means skipping family gatherings, holiday parties, and other social events, then you should not feel guilty about it whatsoever.

Your mental health and well-being are far more important. In addition, consider incorporating the following during the holiday season:

  1. Set realistic expectations for the holidays. To avoid feeling let down, consider what you expect from yourself and others without expecting too much.
  2. Do not overdo it. It is easy to want to do as much as you can during the holiday season. It is okay to scale things down and still enjoy the holidays by limiting what you will do. 
  3. Put yourself and your needs first. There is only so much you can do in a day. Make sure to set time aside each day for personal care, hobbies, and things you enjoy. 
  4. Consider TMS, ketamine, and other psychiatry treatments to maintain your mental health. Being proactive about your mental health can be beneficial to help prevent an anxiety or depression relapse. 

What Can You Do if You Experience a Symptom Relapse?

If you notice you are experiencing anxiety and depression during the holidays, it is crucial not to let it become the focal point of your holidays. Instead, if you are already receiving some form of ongoing care, consider increasing the number of sessions to provide the additional support you need. 

If you have not tried TMS or ketamine therapies, these can be wonderful options to explore. TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) therapy is a non-invasive and drug-free method to treat anxiety and depression.

TMS focuses magnetic pulses to the area of the brain that regulates our moods and makes us feel anxious or depressed. By stimulating this area of the brain, you will notice that your level of anxiety decreases or your depressed feelings gradually lessen. 

Ketamine therapy is also effective at relieving the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Ketamine is an FDA-approved anesthetic that is equally effective at treating anxiety and depression. Most people that receive ketamine therapy report improvements within a few hours or less.  

TMS and Ketamine Treatments for Anxiety and Depression During the Holidays in Los Angeles, CA

If you are worried about anxiety and depression during the holidays, find out if TMS and ketamine therapies could help by scheduling a free, no-obligation consultation at Neuro Wellness Spa in Los Angeles, CA. Contact us by calling 1-877-847-3984 today!

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