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Veterans Health Administration

Dealing with Holiday Stress

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Dealing with Holiday Stress 

The holiday season can be a time of joy, happiness and family get-togethers.

But for some Veterans, it is a time of loneliness and anxiety about their future.

Why do I have the Holiday Blues?

Many things can cause the “holiday blues.”

It could be stress, fatigue, unrealistic expectations, money problems, or unable to be with one’s family and friends. The demands of shopping and family reunions can also lead to feelings of tension.

Some Vets develop stress symptoms such as headaches, excessive drinking, over-eating and problems sleeping. There is also the post-holiday let down after January 1. This usually results from disappointments during the holidays added to the excess fatigue and stress.

Here’s One Way to See if You Are Depressed

You may be wondering if you have symptoms of Depression. One way of determining that is to take a brief confidential and anonymous screening. Only you will see the results of the brief screening. None of the results are stored or sent anywhere. You can choose to print a copy of the results for your own records or to give to your VA physician or mental health professional.

Is the Weather to blame?

Some Veterans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which results from being exposed to fewer hours of sunlight as the days grow shorter during the winter months.

This article on the “winter blues” will help you understand SAD.

The VA Medical Center in Albuquerque has a great feature on how to deal with holiday stress.

VA has numerous resources to help Vets get through the Holiday Blues and VA’s Mental Health professionals are ready to help you deal with your depression.