The holiday season is most often associated with feelings of warmth, togetherness, and festive cheer. It’s a time anticipated for the joy of sharing gifts, the comfort of family gatherings, and the excitement of year-end celebrations. But beneath the shimmering lights and merriment, some people’s experience of the holidays is far less bright.
For some, the joy of the season gets overshadowed by a weightier sense of obligation that leads to heightened stress and the onset of depression. Combine this with the revelry of the season, social encouragement to indulge, and the desire to relieve stress, and it’s easy for alcohol and drug consumption to escalate to harmful levels.
It’s important to take the time to understand the common causes of holiday depression and arm ourselves with strategies and tools to cope—or, ideally, avoid these feelings altogether.