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Why are the holidays so hard? - November 6th 2017, 09:37 PM

I notice the holidays are hard for a lot of people with mental health issues.

I know why the holidays are hard for some people in my life but I can't figure out why I do struggle a bit during this time.

Don't get me wrong, this is my favorite time of year but I just feel down a lot and stressed and overwhelmed.

Its hard for me to figure out since I used to not feel this way around the holidays. I think it's gotten like this around the time I became an adult, maybe 17-18 but 17-19 was when I was at my worst and constantly in and out of the hospital. Now, I'm doing well enough, better than I have felt ever, maybe? And, I'm still struggling.

Not really sure if anyone can provide insight though.


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Re: Why are the holidays so hard? - November 6th 2017, 11:19 PM

Some people who do worse in winter, some people can't stand their families, others hate the idea of being judged or compared to others when they have to give the "life updates" when they see everybody who wants to know how they are and what they're doing. For me personally, it's family dynamics and the judgement thing. At this age, and compared to my cousins I'm ashamed of where I am and what I'm doing even though I know I shouldn't be because I've been through hell, I still feel it. Maybe that's what you're feeling too?


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Re: Why are the holidays so hard? - November 6th 2017, 11:39 PM

I think it's different for everyone, but Kate pretty much pointed out the biggest issues when it comes to holidays for those with mental health issues. I actually said "yeah" to some of the things she said in that list. As you've said abibliophobe, it's become worse since turning eighteen or around there. You're out of high school, there's the expectation of going to school and getting good grades, choosing a major, perhaps even finding a boyfriend/girlfriend, being in a stable relationship if you haven't been in one since high school, the comparison between siblings and cousins, throw in older relatives trying to relate when they were the same age. It becomes an issue of competition and comparison between family.

It becomes too much. Especially when you're going on a third century, don't have kids, never had a proper relationship, didn't get a college degree, work just a couple hours a week. It sucks. I find solace in alcohol, which I don't recommend for anyone else. But it makes me forget, it numbs the pain just for a little bit. I also spend a lot of time on the computer, in the chat room here on TH, or other forums.
   
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Re: Why are the holidays so hard? - November 7th 2017, 03:35 AM

I ended up talking to my psychiatrist about this a bit today. He said, he thinks some of the reason some people get depressed during this time is because it's a time when we have expectations of some kind and then once the holidays are over those expectations aren't met...be that receiving gifts or spending time with family or simply having fun...and I think this is partially true.

Idk, I don't ever really receive a whole lot of gifts so it really isn't a gift expectation for me ... but I think for me ... a lot of it is the expectation that I'll enjoy myself and do fun stuff and have a better year come January.

I also think that right now, I am struggling a bit more due to stuff with finding a job.

Another thing I was able to figure out was that during this time of year I kind of get nostalgic. I used to love the holidays as a kid. My family would get together a lot for Thanksgiving and then Christmas. We would exchange gifts and it was just fun...as I got older ... family stopped getting together as often and things got a tad bit disappointing. The nostalgia that comes up .. can be great but then I think about all the things I wanted as a child ... and I realize I might not ever have all those things.

My psychiatrist did talk to me a bit about the fact that with the season change people can also experience depression.

IDK...I just...I hate this feeling yet I love this time of year and sometimes I wish it weren't like this. I know people who outright love the Holidays and I have a love hate relationship with it.


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Re: Why are the holidays so hard? - November 7th 2017, 06:23 PM

By holidays I assume from the character of responses that you mean things like Christmas etc. For me, holidays mean vac from uni and I also struggle tremendously during vac, especially the long ones. You could probably apply the same logic to both periods though. I have an anxiety disorder which is severely exacerbated by the lack of structure that a holiday brings. This may be why people tend to struggle more over holiday periods because there is less structure because work/school is on pause.
   
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