Christmas and Depression
Last updated: December 2022
As the cold front moved in, I began to feel the desire to decorate the Christmas tree. This is highly unusual for me. Last year I only decorated the Christmas tree because my boyfriend forced me to hang ornaments on the tree with him. I am not sure if this means my medications for my depression are working or if the unusual fall coldness is helping my mood somehow.
Part of me believes that the cold weather is what is helping. I know the dogs love it, to say the least. Being from south Texas, we have spent more Christmas days in the heat and humidity than in the cool winter air.
I have started a new tradition for holidays with one of my nieces. I get window clings for the front door. Then we spend an afternoon decorating the front door. This last Halloween, we did The Nightmare Before Christmas window clings. Luckily, you can find window cling sets on Amazon for cheap. It may not be a full house or yard of decorations, but it is a little something. It is something that I can afford.
So, I will steal my niece away for the day after Thanksgiving. For Christmas, I have blue window clings and a gingerbread house for us to do. I am just hoping my mood stays slightly better so I can enjoy this time with her, and I do not feel like it is a forced event.
I am sure my boyfriend and I will spend an evening decorating our tree. It is a relatively new tradition for us. His bonus parents gave us their old tree and ornaments last year.
Depression is something I have been struggling with for years now. My official diagnosis is major depressive disorder. Recently we added Abilify to my Trintellix with the hope that it will help the Trintellix work better. I cannot say that I have noticed a change in general, but I am still hopeful.
Depression makes getting through your regular day difficult, much less special days. It can really make enjoying the holidays difficult.
The lack of understanding about the true face of depression makes being around extended family members difficult. Many sufferers find themselves using a fake mask to get through mandatory family functions. Others may choose to self-isolate. Some individuals may have a small social circle or purposely isolate themselves from their family and friends.
Finding Your Joy
One way to battle depression is to find your joy. It may sound silly, but it is an effective tool for therapy. One may not be able to find joy every day initially, but at least once a week or so.
So much of the time, I find my joy while spending time with my nieces. It's the little things, like decorating with window clings or coloring in a coloring book. Children have such a simple way of looking at life. Sometimes it is just what the doctor ordered.
Do you have holiday traditions? Does depression affect your holidays? Tell us about your experience in the comments below, or share your story with the community.
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