Holidays More Challenging For People Struggling With Mental Illness

The holiday season from Thanksgiving to New Year’s does not always bring cheer to everyone, especially for people who are living with mental illness.

The Holiday Blues

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) conducted a survey in 2014 and found that the majority of people diagnosed with mental illness struggle with the holiday season. Approximately 24 percent of those surveyed reported that the holiday season makes their condition “a lot worse,” while 40 percent said that it made their condition “somewhat worse.”  more

The holidays & our mental health

The holiday season can be a difficult time for many people.  WBFO’s senior reporter Eileen Buckley talked to one expert about why there is more anxiety, depression and holiday blues this time of year as the nation faces a mental health crisis.

“A lot of it is related to stress and things that are going on in people’s lives,” remarked Dr. Howard Hitzel, president and CEO of Best Self Behavioral Health.

We know the holiday season can generate more stress, but for those living with mental illness, it can escalate even more difficult feelings at Christmas and New Year’s.

“People who aren’t feeling very well – they look around them and they see everyone else in a festive mood with their families and that kind of thing and so sometimes people compare to those other folks and say what’s wrong with me and why don’t I feel like that or why don’t I have a family like other people have – so it can be difficult for some folks,” remarked Hitzel.     more