Emotional Holidays

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    Imagin.ation

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        Imagin.ation

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        Okay.. i have this question..
        Does anyone get depressed and/or emotional during
        the end of the year holidays, Thanksgiving.. Christmas.. NewYears..
        I get like this and can't figure out WHY..
        I just want these holidays to get over with, and as soon as Jan. 2 comes
        I'm breathing again, but then saying to myself and everyone else
        Gee i wish it hadn't ended so quick after...i'd do this and that differently..
        I do all the holiday things, and i have a good time with my family and friends
        but inside i feel depressed and emotional, behind closed doors i cry..WHY?
        Does anyone else experience this.. if you do.. give me some examples as to why?

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        drpsyce38

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        As a former therapist, I can offer some classical, but reliable, answers.

        First, high expectations.  People believe the holidays will be SUPER wonderful and for most of us, in actuality, they fall short.  Not as super as we wanted.  For many this leads to a let-down feeling.

        Second, the holidays are times when lots of family "STUFF" comes out.  Families act out more and there is more malfunctioning.  Mamma yells more, dad drinks more, sister gets uptight more, old issues get dragged up, etc....

        Third, this time of year originially was primarily about religious traditions.  Thus, simply focusing on twinkling lights and shopping is a serious "fall short" of the original design for this time of year.

        Fourth (similar to number one), we blitzed with being told this is THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!  Well.....for many people it simply is not.  Hence, a conflict occurs in our conscience and leaves us feeling "fragile."

        Fifth, for many the past is a better place (real OR perceived) than the present.  Hence, the here-and-now seems like a let down compared to the past.

        My two cents from years of doing family therapy.  Keep it SIMPLE.  And do things like volunteer with helping the poor.  Really, this works!
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        genenco

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        "Today, most of the good people are afraid to be good. They strive to be broadminded and tolerant. It is fashionable to be tolerant but mostly tolerant of evil and this new code has reached the proportions of demanding intolerance of good."
        Just trotting along
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        I'll be calling you for a private chat about some of my more weird hangups

        Damn gambling advice, mental therapy and also a person who knows heartbreak close up and also "ahem" You are a jewel!! Really!!
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        Imagin.ation

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        Thank You.. these are a few things i didn't think about
        My goodness you are good, and so kind of you to reply..
        Maybe this will help, and all i'll keep in thought..
        I really want to find out why this does this to me..
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        phibbie

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        Yea, Imagin, for me any holiday, including my birthday, is also a quite difficult emotional period! I feel blue and lonely this time! I know the cause, why this happens over and over again with me...It's just your first point, drpsyce38, about expectations...But even knowing the problem I can do/change nothing!!!  :'( :'( I say to myself: this is just an ordinary day/week...but it doesn't work!
        So I always have double feelings. At first I'm looking forward to these holidays: presents, parties, rest...I make plans...it's usually in November, at the beginning of Dec...But the closer to the holidays, the more miserable I feel! I've no ideas how I can solve this problem!! Is it possible to cope with it??
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        drpsyce38

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        Phibbie....that is why I put "expectations" first.  I do think we, meaning ALL people, have built up the expectation that this time of year is supposed to create a "high of happiness."  We expect something magical to happen and feel better than we did the rest of the year.  For some that DOES happen.  For many it does NOT. 

        In my years of doing family therapy the best remedy is keeping it simple and doing a large measure to help the poor. 

        Case in point.  I had a family once who was burned out, stressed out, and depressed each Christmas.  The holidays ended in a semi depressive state and everyone in a bad mood.  The family noticed this got worse each year.  First, they tried MORE activity.  More parties, more watching twinkling lights, more shopping, etc.  The result?  The family depression got worse.  So, they made a huge change.  They cut their holiday activities down to simply two events:  attending Christmas Eve Services at church and sharing a common meal together.  Also, instead of buy more stuff they took the money they WOULD HAVE spent on presents and donated it to a local homeless shelter.  On Christmas morning they got up and went and volunteered at the same shelter.  They also kept up a relationship with the leaders of the shelter and would volunteer there from time to time through out the year.

        The result?  No more holiday blues. 

        Now I realize this is not a magic bullet.  For one thing, one must WANT to do it.  But trust me, this is a VERY good remedy!
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        Imagin.ation

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        Then im not alone in this... THING...
        I was wondering if theres others out there..
        And finding that out through the Doc's response and yours Phibbie
        Exactly that with me Phibbie.. and then when they are over..
        we want them back again..
        What i thought about was maybe its that my daughter is grown
        or i'm not a little child anymore waking up to Christmas
        and that the childhood excitement is over..
        We spend all those years the same routine
        growing up getting presents, giving presents
        comparing toys with the other kids, then poof suddenly you are
        waking up on Christmas Mornings and everyone is grown up and gone!

                                                :'(  :'(  :'(

        P.S. Phibbie.. i'm sorry you go through this too, i know how you feel
        we will get through it, Doc's advice is really good
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        phibbie

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        It's sooo great that there are people who share and can understand these emotions!!
        Doc, thanks for your advice! I'll REALLY try to follow it! I'm just fed up with those feelings, which have already spoiled so much nerves and time!
        P.S. Imagin...I hope these holidays something will change...Expectations!? Again!? lol
        Really, I wish you that!

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