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Celebration & Vacation

Holidays trigger depression might seem like a contradiction in terms, but it’s a very real phenomenon. For some people, including teens, the holiday season is not a happy time, but one that brings stress, anxiety, and sadness. What could cause this and how can you help your teen cope with it? The holidays bring with that quite a few changes to the social atmosphere.

holidays trigger depression in teens

Holidays trigger depression

Celebrations songs on the radio say this is the “most wonderful time of the year,” and that can pressure your teen to pretend to be happy, even when they aren’t. Some people consciously or subconsciously associate the holiday with things that make them the time feel a lot less than wonderful.

Holidays trigger depression

Maybe the anniversary of a tragic event falls within or near the holiday. Or maybe they miss someone that they cannot ever be with during the holiday, either because of distance or death. Or maybe they’re expected to spend time with a family member that they don’t feel emotionally safe with. Whatever the reason, feeling like you’re the only one who isn’t enjoying the holiday can be a lonely and isolating experience.

holidays trigger depression among teens

Holidays trigger depression

As if things weren’t complicated enough, depression during the holidays can make some teens have spikes of depressed mood swings after the holidays, instead. This one is probably a bit more intuitive. After the break from school or work, the idea of going back to ‘normal’ live can be a less-than-happy one, even for grownups

Holidays trigger depression

Teens who have a hard time with post-holiday depression might have a difficult time at school or just don’t want the holidays to end. As a matter of fact, holiday stress and depression  can cause mental illness issues that your adolescent struggling with to worsen. And loneliness and depression may cause need a call for therapist assistance if you feel is needed do not hesitate. Just knowing that the celebration won’t last can even be what triggers holiday blues in the first place.

holiday trigger blues

Holidays trigger depression and anxiety

 If your teen is suffering from new or worsening anxiety and depression especially around any major holiday season, it is always a good idea to listen to them. They might not fully understand why they feel this way or know how to explain it, so—as the adult in their life—they may need your help to identify and/or put words to it. Watch out and listening for signs that they are uncomfortable in specific spaces or social situations, as these may be contributing factors.

Tips for coping with holiday

This is important because you have to be open to the possibility of making changes in holiday plans or traditions if they are triggers for their depression. to cope also—and I cannot stress this enough—do not downplay their feelings or their triggers. Meaning, don’t say things like, “That’s nothing to get all worked up about!” or “Is that what’s bothering you? It’s nothing!” It might seem silly or a tiny thing to you, but that doesn’t matter. It is a big deal to them.

Depression magnifies negative thoughts, and for young people with less life experience  (and less developed brains), this can be even more intense. By acknowledging what they confide in you, you may also help them to get through the situations that can’t be changed because they know they have someone to talk to and who gets it.

Holidays Trigger Depression Aggravate Your Teenager

Familial support is crucial. They should not feel pressured to enjoy the holiday. Allow your teen to take a break if they need it, and model this behavior for them, too. It won’t be much of a holiday for anyone if everyone’s burnt out, right?

To be sure of course, as with all clinical depression, psychotherapy and antidepressants are also treatment options, even for holiday depression. Medical professionals can help identify triggers and develop plans to address them, especially if they happen every year. The holidays may be hard for your teen, but you can get through them together.