Doctors: Holidays can have negative effects on mental health

Published: Dec. 3, 2019 at 10:24 AM EST
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Physicians at Baptist Health Corbin are bringing awareness to the negative emotions holidays can pose for some people.

Doctors say some of the 'negative wave' of emotions can stem from existing mood disorders or mental health problems. However, these can worsen with stress, loneliness or depression during the holiday season.

"It's not uncommon. It's not something that's unnatural. We all feel a little bit down in the wintertime, that's just how it is," said Physiciatrist Jonathan Martin. "It's important that we realize everyone is struggling with things and that everyone is going through their own things."

Some of the contributing factors that can heighten negative emotions during the holidays are:

- Increased spending: Spending more money, or feeling obligated to, can put a strain on people financially. For some, this adds to existing financial burdens.

- Expectations and demand: With many people having a packed scheduled during the holidays, feeling the need to make every event, party, or school function, can negatively affect emotions.

- Tension: If there are unresolved issues within people attending social or family events it can cause someone to fear for their safety, depression, anxiety and even lead to panic attacks.

- Seasonal changes: Doctors say being exposed to less sunlight in the winter months can change our eating habits leading to depression.

- Loneliness: If you have lost someone through the absence of that person or memories of them during the holidays can lead to depression as well doctors say.

For more information on how holiday seasons and winter months can negatively affect emotions or if you experience these yourself you can contact Baptist Health Corbin at (800) 395-4435.

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