Holiday Depression : Signs, Causes and Treatment Options

Holiday Depression : Signs, Causes and Treatment Options

The holidays can be a joyous time, but for many people, they can also be a time of sadness and depression. If you are feeling down this holiday season, don’t worry – you are not alone. Millions of people struggle with holiday depression every year. In this blog post, we will discuss five ways that you can overcome holiday depression and enjoy the season.

What Is Holiday Depression?

What Is Holiday Depression?

Holiday depression is a type of major depression that occurs at certain times of the year, typically around Christmas. It may be caused by several factors, including the stress of holiday preparations, unrealistic expectations, financial problems, and the increased focus on family and social obligations.

Holiday depression is very common as the holiday season approaches. A study conducted by the American Psychiatric Association found that nearly one in four people reported feeling “sad, blue, or down in the dumps” during the holidays.

There may be many factors contributing to your holiday depression, but there are ways to overcome it. People may feel down during the holidays for several reasons.

Symptoms of Holiday Depression

Symptoms of Holiday Depression

There are many symptoms of holiday depression, and they vary from person to person. Some people may feel hopeless, helpless, or irritable. Some of these signs are:

Feeling hopeless, helpless, or worthless

One of the most common symptoms of depression is feeling hopeless and helpless. These feelings can be magnified during the holidays when we’re supposed to be happy and surrounded by loved ones. An individual may feel like they don’t measure up to others, or that their life is a failure.

Frequent crying

Crying more than usual, or for no apparent reason, is another sign of depression. The holiday season can be overwhelming and trigger sad memories. This can lead to tears and an inability to stop crying.

Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy

When someone is depressed, they often lose interest in activities they once enjoyed. This may be especially true during the holidays when there are so many social obligations. A person with holiday depression may not want to go to parties or gatherings, even if they’re with people they love.

Changes in eating or sleeping habits

Depression can cause changes in appetite, leading to weight loss or gain. It can also cause insomnia or hypersomnia (sleeping too much). These changes may be more pronounced during the holidays when there is an increased focus on food and social gatherings.

Isolation from others

Another symptom of depression is isolation. A person may withdraw from family and friends, stop participating in activities they enjoy, and become generally isolated. This can be magnified during the holidays when we’re supposed to be surrounded by loved ones.

Feelings of guilt or shame

Guilt and shame are common symptoms of depression. A person may feel guilty for not enjoying the holidays, for not being able to afford gifts, or for not being able to meet expectations. They may also feel ashamed of their symptoms and think they should be able to snap out of them.

Lack of energy or motivation

Depression can cause a loss of energy and motivation. A person may not have the energy to decorate, shop, or participate in holiday activities. They may also have difficulty completing everyday tasks.

Anxiety or agitation

Anxiety and agitation are common symptoms of depression. A person may feel on edge, have difficulty concentrating, or be easily annoyed. These feelings can be magnified during the holidays when there is so much to do and we’re surrounded by people.

Physical symptoms

Depression can cause physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, and body aches. These symptoms may be more pronounced during the holidays when we’re under stress.

Thoughts of death or suicide

Depression can lead to dark thoughts, including suicidal thoughts. If you are having thoughts of hurting yourself, please seek professional help immediately.

If you or someone you know is exhibiting any of these symptoms, please seek professional help. Depression is a serious illness that can have devastating consequences if left untreated.

Reasons For Holiday Depression

Reasons For Holiday Depression

There are several reasons why people can experience holiday depression. For some, the holiday season is a reminder of personal loss or a difficult time in their lives. For others, the holidays can be a period of stress and financial strain. And for some people, the change in routine and increased social obligations can be overwhelming.

Some of these reasons are:


One of the most significant risk factors for developing holiday depression is a family history of the condition. If someone in your family has suffered from seasonal affective disorder or another form of depression, you may be more likely to experience holiday depression yourself. These conditions tend to run in families, so it’s important to be aware of your family history when considering your risk factors.

Stressful life events

Another significant risk factor for holiday depression is experiencing stressful life events. This can include things like the death of a loved one, divorce, job loss, or any other major life change. These events can be especially difficult during the holidays when we’re supposed to be enjoying ourselves with our loved ones.


The holidays can be a very stressful time. From buying gifts and preparing holiday meals to deal with difficult family dynamics, there are a lot of potential sources of stress during the holiday season. And if you’re already struggling with depression, stress can make your symptoms worse. Also, if you’re not used to spending time with certain family members or friends, the holiday season can be a particularly stressful time.


For some people, the holidays are a reminder of their loneliness. If you don’t have close family or friends, or if you’re estranged from your family, the holidays can be a difficult time. This is especially true if you see other people celebrating with their loved ones.


Anxiety is another common symptom of holiday depression. If you’re worried about money, your relationships, or your health, this can all contribute to feelings of anxiety and depression during the holidays. These worries can also make it difficult to enjoy the holidays.

Changes in Routine

The holiday season often means changes in our routines. For example, we may travel to visit family or friends, which can disrupt our usual routines. This can be difficult for people who thrive on routine and may contribute to feelings of depression.

Decreased Sunlight

During the winter months, there is less sunlight, which can impact our mood. This is because sunlight helps our bodies produce vitamin D, which is essential for good health. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to depression, so this may be one reason why people tend to feel more depressed during the winter.

Financial Strain

The holidays can also be a financial strain for many people. Between buying gifts, traveling, and attending holiday parties, the costs of the holiday season can add up quickly. If you’re already struggling to make ends meet, this can be a major source of stress and may contribute to holiday depression.

There are many reasons why people may experience holiday depression. If you’re struggling during the holidays, it’s important to reach out for help.

Impacts of Holiday Depression 

The impacts of holiday depression can be significant. Some of these are:

Problems At School

One of the most common impacts of holiday depression among children and teenagers is problems at school. If you are feeling depressed, it can be hard to concentrate on your studies or participate in class. This can lead to lower grades and may make it more difficult to get into college or get a job later on.

Problems At Work

Similarly, holiday depression can also impact your work performance. If you’re struggling to focus or motivate yourself, this can lead to missed deadlines, decreased productivity, and conflicts with co-workers. In severe cases, holiday depression may even cause you to lose your job.

Relationship Problems

Depression can also take a toll on your relationships. If you’re feeling depressed, you may withdraw from your friends and family. This can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. Additionally, depression can make it difficult to communicate effectively, which can cause arguments and conflict. In severe cases, holiday depression may even lead to divorce or estrangement from family members.

Health Problems

Holiday depression can also have an impact on your physical health. Depression is a risk factor for developing chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Additionally, people who are depressed are more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking and excessive drinking. These behaviors can further contribute to the development of chronic health conditions. Additionally, holiday depression can make it difficult to stick to a healthy lifestyle. This can lead to weight gain, which can further contribute to health problems.

Financial Issues

Anxiety, sadness, and isolation can make it difficult to stick to a budget during the holidays. This can lead to overspending and may cause financial problems. Additionally, holiday depression may make it difficult to stay organized and keep track of expenses. This can further contribute to financial problems.

How To Manage Holiday Depression?

How To Manage Holiday Depression?

The holidays are a time when many people experience an increase in their mood. However, for some people, the holidays can be a trigger for depression. If you find that your mood dips during the holidays, you are not alone. Holiday depression is a real phenomenon, and it can be tough to deal with. However, there are some things that you can do to try to manage your holiday depression.

Talk to Your Doctor

If you are struggling with depression during the holidays, one of the best things that you can do is talk to your doctor. Depression is a serious condition, and it is important to get professional help if you are struggling. Your doctor will be able to help you figure out what might be causing your holiday depression and how to best treat it.

Identify Triggers

If you can identify what is triggering your holiday depression, it can be easier to deal with. For some people, the holidays are a reminder of loved ones who have passed away. For others, the added stress of shopping and entertaining can be too much to handle. Once you know what is triggering your depression, you can start to develop a plan for how to deal with those triggers.

Seek Support

If you are struggling with holiday depression, it is important to seek out support from friends and family. Let your loved ones know what you are going through and ask for their help. Having a strong support system can make a big difference when you are dealing with depression. Support also comes in the form of professional help. If you need additional support, consider talking to a therapist or counselor.

Develop a Plan

Once you have identified your triggers and gathered your support, it is time to develop a plan for dealing with your holiday depression. This plan might include things like setting limits on how much shopping you do or taking some time for yourself each day. The important thing is to find what works for you and stick to it.

Take Care of Yourself

When you are dealing with depression, it is important to take care of yourself. This means getting plenty of rest, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. Taking care of yourself will help you feel better and better equipped to deal with your depression.

Some self-care can be as simple as taking a relaxing bath, reading your favorite book, or taking a nature walk. It is important to find what works for you and make time for it each day.

Managing holiday depression can be tough, but it is possible. By talking to your doctor, identifying your triggers, seeking support, and developing a plan, you can start to feel better. And don’t forget to take care of yourself. When you do, you will be better prepared to manage your holiday depression.


Holiday depression is a serious issue that should not be ignored. If you or someone you know is struggling with holiday depression, there are a few things that can be done to help. First, it is important to talk to someone about what you’re going through. This can be a friend, family member, therapist, or anyone else who can offer support. Second, make sure to take care of yourself physically by eating healthy and getting enough exercise. Third, try to stay busy and involved in activities that you enjoy. Finally, remember that it is okay to ask for help if you need it. There are many resources available to those who are struggling with holiday depression. If you or someone you know needs help, please reach out.

Hope this article was of help to you! If you are suffering from mental health disorders, you may seek help from Therapy Mantra. We have a team of highly trained and experienced therapists who can provide you with the tools and skills necessary for overcoming mental health disorders. Contact us today to schedule an online therapy or download our free Android or iOS app for more information.