Updated: May 16
The Holiday Season can be extremely stressful for anyone. But, if you already have a pre-disposition for a mood disorder, depression or PTSD you are more susceptible to worsening symptoms. The holiday season brings the stress of expenses on top of everyday financial burdens, family visits, and family expectations. You can add on to this list over-commercialization, high expectations, fatigue, and sadness from the losses we've endured. Those with already heightened sensitivities due to prior diagnosis can result in the worsening of symptoms. Symptoms like agitation, insomnia, anger, depression, panic attacks, and anxiety. So you are probably saying "I've heard this all before", "what's the answer to avoiding these symptoms?"
There is no quick fix to these symptoms but what is on the path of reducing these symptoms is "being prepared in advance." If you already suffer with a form of a Mood Disorder, Depression or PTSD, you can reduce the impact these symptoms have on you by being prepared in advance. By getting into psychotherapy, practicing mindfulness, taking care of yourself and reaching out for support you can reduce the negative impact these symptoms can have on your holidays. Psychotherapy allows for you a forum in which you can discuss your emotions, learn coping mechanisms, and have clinical support. Practicing mindfulness activities routinely can be your "go to" when symptoms increase and cause distress. Meditation, yoga, visualization are all useful tools when struggling with anxiety, depression and other symptoms of PTSD. Journaling is also a beneficial tool that many find useful when struggling with intrusive thoughts, anger and other symptoms. Taking care of yourself physically is also very important. Eating well, getting restorative sleep, and enjoying supportive friends is also an important part of overall well-being. Trauma and Mood Disorders can be difficult to handle during the holiday season but remembering "Why" you celebrate is an inspiration for healing, hope and happiness.