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What Are the Holiday Blues?

Feelings of sadness that last throughout the holiday season—especially during the months of November and December—are often referred to as the holiday blues or holiday depression. The holidays are usually viewed as a time of happiness and rejoicing. But for some people, it can be a period of painful reflection, sadness, loneliness, anxiety, and depression.

Even people who love the holidays can experience the blues during this busy season. The holidays are often a time of high emotion and demands, which can leave a lot of people feeling stressed and exhausted.

People with a prior mental health condition may be even more prone to experiencing holiday depression. According to the NAMI National, 64% of people with an existing mental illness report that the holidays make their condition worse.

Signs & Symptoms

The most common symptom of holiday depression is a persistent or recurring feeling of sadness that begins during the holiday season. This feeling may vary in intensity and duration. Some people might feel down periodically, but experience brief periods of feeling more upbeat.

Some signs of holiday depression might include:

  • Changes in appetite or weight

  • Changes in sleep patterns

  • Depressed or irritable mood

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt

  • Feeling more tired than usual

  • Feeling tense, worried, or anxious

  • Loss of pleasure in doing things you used to enjoy

For more information and to read the full article please visit:


  • SAMHSA 24/7 Crisis Hotline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

  • Clackamas County Safe & Strong: or call 503-655-8585.

  • Clackamas County Crisis Hotline: 503-655-8575

  • Clackamas County Urgent Mental Health Walk-in Clinic: 503-655-8585

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255)

  • NAMI Oregon Crisis Hotline: (800) 343-6264

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