Holiday Divorce Depression
Some people say that the Christmas holiday season is the happiest time of the year, as family and friends gather to celebrate together. However, the Christmas holidays are also the most likely time of the year for people who have recently divorced to experience depression. The fact that the suicide rate is always higher in December than in any other month of the year also reflects just how bad Christmas depression can be.
People who suddenly find themselves single for the first time during the holidays often experience feelings of loss, failure and loneliness. At a time when everyone else seems so joyous, it can be especially difficult to cope with a holiday season depression. In addition to feeling sad and dysfunctional, people who have experienced divorce trauma sometimes make things worse by adopting the attitude that they have more of a right to experience holiday depression than those who appear happily married. Regular, non-divorced folks can get depressed during the holidays too, as feelings of disconnection amid the hustle and bustle can lead to a moderate depression.
However, people dealing with the recent loss of their spouse and married lifestyle can easily feel completely overwhelmed by holiday sadness. If you find yourself facing the holidays alone and think you might be coming down with a dose of holiday depression, it is very important to try to reach out to someone, whether it is a friend, a relative, clergy or a professional counselor. People who are depressed and do nothing about it are likely to stay depressed longer. If a depression lasts long enough it can interfere with your job performance, friendships and romantic relationships and even the ability to take care of yourself.
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness and the sooner you are able to recognize that you are experiencing at least some form of holiday depression, the faster you can deal with it. Addressing holiday depression doesn’t necessarily mean that you will require long term treatment, it may just mean you will have to learn to let go of the past and learn new skills when it comes to dealing with your divorce and new single status. You may have to set some holiday boundaries and limit the number of invitations you accept and scale down the specific Christmas activities that tend to depress you. A Christmas divorce depression can be more than just a simple case of the blues, especially if it occurs annually.
Holiday Attitude Adjustment Tips:
* Don’t isolate sitting at home watching TV. If you get lonely, find a school, church or community center where you can be with other people and socialize.
* Instead of trying to make everything perfect, try to create some good memories for yourself during the holidays.
* Remember what’s really important in your life. Take care of yourself and those close to you during the holidays.
* Try to get some moderate exercise every day. It’s harder to be sad if you’re healthy.
* Don’t try to spend yourself happy during the holidays. Many people get depressed after making big holiday purchases that don’t bring the joy they expected.